PTSD and Sexual Dysfunction in Men and Women

Rachel Yehuda, Amy Lehrner, Talli Y. Rosenbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


Introduction: Difficulties in sexual desire and function often occur in persons with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but many questions remain regarding the mechanisms underlying the occurrence of sexual problems in PTSD. Aim: The aim of this review was to present a model of sexual dysfunction in PTSD underpinned by an inability to regulate and redirect the physiological arousal needed for healthy sexual function away from aversive hyperarousal and intrusive memories. Method: A literature review pertaining to PTSD and sexual function was conducted. Evidence for the comorbidity of sexual dysfunction and PTSD is presented, and biological and psychological mechanisms that may underlie this co-occurrence are proposed. Main Outcome Measures: This manuscript presents evidence of sexual dysfunction in conjunction with PTSD, and of the neurobiology and neuroendocrinology of PTSD and sexual function. Results: Sexual dysfunction following trauma exposure may be mediated by PTSD-related biological, cognitive, and affective processes. Conclusions: The treatment of PTSD must include attention to sexual dysfunction and vice versa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1107-1119
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Sexual Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2015


  • Neurobiology
  • Neuroendocrinology
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
  • Sexual Dysfunction


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