This study was aimed to identify characteristics of ED patients who discontinued PDE5i despite successful intercourse. Data were collected using a questionnaire from 34 urologic clinics regardless of the effect (success or failure) of PDE5i treatment by visiting the clinics (717), e-mail (64) or post (101) for 882 ED patients who had previously taken any kind of PDE5i on demand four or more times. Discontinuation of PDE5i was defined if the patient had never taken PDE5i for the previous 1 year despite successful intercourse. Of the 882 patients, 485 were included in the final analysis. Difference in the socio-demographic, ED- and partner-related data between the continuation and discontinuation group and factors influencing discontinuation of the PDE5i were analyzed. Among 485 respondents (mean age, 53.6), 116 (23.9%) had discontinued PDE5i use despite successful intercourse. Most common reasons for the discontinuation were 'reluctant medication-dependent intercourse' (31.0%), 'spontaneous recovery of erectile function without further treatment' (30.2%), and 'high cost' (26.7%). In multiple logistic regression analysis, independent factors influencing discontinuation of the drug were cause of ED (psychogenic), short duration of ED, low education (⩽ middle school), and religion (Catholic). In partner-related compliance, only partner's religion (Catholic) was a significant factor.