An e-mail and telephone helpline for sexual problems - results of a 2-year survey of men's sexual concerns

Int J Clin Pract. 2011 Oct;65(10):1085-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-1241.2011.02729.x. Epub 2011 Aug 1.


Introduction: Sexual problems are relatively common in the community. The under-reporting of such problems calls for alternative ways of getting a true perspective of the prevalence of sexual dysfunction.

Aim: To assess and investigate the concerns, ages and nationality of male users of a electronic helpline using it over 2 years (2009-2010).

Methods: Detailed records were kept of all emails and telephone calls to the helpline which included administrative and clinical queries. The clinical calls and some of the emails were answered by the administrator, while the majority of the emails were answered by a physician. This presentation will deal with the users who emailed for assistance with male sexual dysfunction. (n = 673).

Results: The helpline received a total of 6142 calls over the period of investigation, including administrative and press calls. Men accounted for 88% of the callers about sexual dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction accounted for 68% of the complaints by men who used the e-mail service. Premature ejaculation, loss of sex drive, genital problems and masturbation worries were other concerns that were received. A large number of men from the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent used the email service, mostly for premature ejaculation and masturbation worries, related to their arranged marriage.

Conclusions: We found confirmation that the commonest sexual complaints in men were of erectile dysfunction and loss of sex drive. Significant correlations were identified between the types of sexual dysfunction and the age and ethnicity of the men who presented with them.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude to Health
  • Ejaculation / physiology
  • Electronic Mail / statistics & numerical data*
  • Erectile Dysfunction / psychology
  • Female
  • Hotlines / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Libido / physiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / ethnology
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / psychology*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / therapy
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / ethnology
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / psychology*