Dhat syndrome, an emergent condition within urology in Spain

World J Urol. 2013 Aug;31(4):941-5. doi: 10.1007/s00345-012-0911-4. Epub 2012 Jul 27.


Background: Dhat syndrome (DS) consists of vague somatic symptoms and at times sexual dysfunction which the patient falsely attributes to involuntary emissions of semen outside of sexual relations.

Objective: Describe and analyse the occurrences of DS in patients attending the clinic and clarify the existence of this condition within the Spanish Urological service.

Materials and methods: Patients reporting semen loss in urine or involuntarily outside of sexual relations were studied during a period from May 2006 to December 2007. Variables of age, nationality, marital status, family situation, medical history, reasons for the consultation, physical condition and additional tests were studied. All treatments and its effectiveness were also recorded.

Results: DS affected predominantly southern Asian continent citizens (n = 32). The average age was 35.44. Seventeen patients reported semen loss during urination; 20 at the end of urination; 11 spontaneously; 5 while sleeping; 4 during defecation; 1 while showering; 1 while eating meat; and 3 produced by noticing stained clothing. In 28 cases, the supposed loss of semen was linked to sex-related symptoms. All examinations and tests ruled out the existence of actual loss of semen.

Conclusions: In urology consultations, we have been witnessing the unusual appearance of DS, a condition known by psychologists and psychiatrists and practically unheard of by urologists. A previously unknown condition in Spain, immigration from Asia, is causing the appearance of this syndrome. Its rapid identification will prevent patients from paying costly and unnecessary tests and provide alternative therapies, within a multidisciplinary approach involving psychologists and psychiatrists.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bangladesh / ethnology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pakistan / ethnology
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Semen / metabolism*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / epidemiology*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / ethnology
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / psychology
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / epidemiology*
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / ethnology
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / psychology
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • Syndrome
  • Urologic Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Urologic Diseases / ethnology
  • Urologic Diseases / psychology
  • Young Adult