Background: Chronic and persistent alcohol use is known to induce sexual dysfunction, which leads to marked distress and interpersonal difficulty.
Aim: We attempted to assess the prevalence of sexual dysfunction in a clinical sample of subjects with alcohol dependence.
Materials and methods: One hundred male subjects admitted to a deaddiction centre with a diagnosis of alcohol dependence syndrome with simple withdrawal symptoms (F10.30, ICD-10 criteria) were assessed for sexual dysfunction using a sexual dysfunction checklist, constructed using items from the Diagnostic Criteria for Research [ICD-10] for sexual dysfunction.
Results: Seventy-two per cent had one or more sexual dysfunction, the most common being premature ejaculation, low sexual desire and erectile dysfunction. The amount of alcohol consumed appeared to be the most significant predictor of developing sexual dysfunction.
Conclusion: Sexual dysfunction is common in patients with alcohol dependence. Heavy drinking proportionately increases the risk. Clinicians need to routinely assess sexual functioning in alcoholic patients so that other factors contributing to sexual dysfunction can be ruled out.
Keywords: Alcohol dependence; sexual dysfunction.