Sexual Health & Genetics

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Men's sexual health and genetics.

Men’s Sexual Health & Genetics

Genetics can play a role in both Erectile Dysfunction (ED), the inability to have and maintain an erection for satisfactory intercourse and Peyronie’s Disease (PD), a curved, indented, or deformed penis.

With ED a genetic variant has been discovered near a gene called SIM1. One study of over 36,000 men found that men with this specific genetic variant have a 26% increased chance of suffering from ED compared to the general population of men.

But genetics only plays one part and ED tends to effect men who are older, overweight have other conditions such as diabetes and are smokers or former smokers. A further study of middle-aged men showed that ED in approximately 1/3rd of males was genetic.

During the last forty years, selected studies have been undertaken to determine whether genetics play a role in PD. Whilst the results have been inconclusive so far, there are a number of other factors that indicate a link.

PD is more prevalent in Caucasian men than in other ethnic groups. Often in diseases where there is a high prevalence by ethnic group, there is a founder mutation. An example is Cystic Fibrosis

PD is a fibroproliferative disease and has a very strong comorbidity of approximately 20% with Dupuytren disease. With PD the fibrous plaque develops in the envelope that stretches the length of the penis and provides stability when erect. The fibrous plaque causes the curve or indentation. With Dupuytren disease the fibrous plaque takes the forms of knots of tissue sited under the skin leading the fingers to be flexed in different extremities with up to 180 degree bend.

More often PD is associated with injury. Most males can recall a traumatic event; like being injured during sex or being hit hard by a football. Events like these can trigger PD. Only a small minority of men go through life, without being injured and experiencing excruciating pain in their private

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