Sexual Dysfunction After Good-Grade Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

World Neurosurg. 2018 Mar:111:e449-e453. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2017.12.091. Epub 2017 Dec 26.


Objective: To assess the consequences of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) on sexual pleasure in patients with an otherwise favorable neurologic outcome.

Methods: Anonymous, standardized questionnaires concerning sexual function, including the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF), Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), and a statement on subjective change in sexual pleasure after aSAH, were completed by 33 patients treated at the Cantonal Hospital St Gallen between 2005 and 2013. All had favorable neurologic outcomes (Glasgow Outcome Scale score 4 or 5).

Results: Ten patients (31.3%) reported a subjective worsening of sexual pleasure after aSAH. Sexual dysfunction according to FSFI criteria affected 9 of the 19 female patients (47.4%). All 19 women had a hypoactive sexual desire disorder. Erectile dysfunction was present in 7 of the 14 male patients (50%). Patients with World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies (WFNS) grade 2 aSAH were significantly more likely to report a subjective worsening of sexual experience after hemorrhage than those with WFNS grade 1.

Conclusions: This is the first known evaluation of sexual health following aSAH with otherwise favorable neurologic outcomes, and confirms that sexual dysfunction is common in this population. Sexual health should be explored during follow-up with these patients.

Keywords: Aneurysm; Depression; Erectile dysfunction; Hypoactive sexual desire disorder; Quality of life; Sexual dysfunction; Subarachnoid hemorrhage.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / epidemiology*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / etiology*
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / complications*