The GAy MEn Sex StudieS: erectile dysfunction among Belgian gay men

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Aim: To determine the prevalence of erectile dysfunction (ED) in a sample of Belgian men who have sex with men (MSM)-population, and to assess the relevance of major predictors such as age, relationship and education. We investigated the use of phosphodiesterase type 5(PDE5)inhibitors among Belgian MSM.

Methods: An internet-based survey on sexual behaviour and sexual dysfunctions, called GAy MEn Sex StudieS (GAMESSS), was administered to MSM, aged 18yr or older, between the months of April and December 2008. The questionnaire used was a compilation of the Kinsey's Heterosexual-Homosexual Rating Scale, Erection Quality Scale (EQS) and the shortened version of the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5).

Results: Of the 1752 participants, 45% indicated having some problems getting an erection. In these group of MSM, 71% reported mild ED; 22% mild to moderate ED; 6% moderate ED and 2% severe ED. Independent predictors for the presence of ED were: age (OR=1.04, p <0.0001), having a steady relationship (OR=0.59, p <0.0001), frequency of sex with their partner (OR=1.22, p <0.0001), versatile sex role (OR=1.58, p <0.016), passive sex role (OR=3.12, p <0.0001), problems with libido (OR=1.15, p <0.011), ejaculation problems (OR=1.33, p <0.0001) and anodyspareunia (OR=0.87, p <0.0001). Ten percent of the Belgian MSM used a PDE5 inhibitor (mean age 43 years ± 11 SD) and 83% of them was satisfied with the effects. "Street drugs" were used by 43% of MSM to improve ED.

Conclusion: 45% of participating Belgian MSM reported some degree of ED and 10% used a PDE5 inhibitor to improve erections. Older MSM reported more ED. MSM, who are in a steady relationship or have frequently sex with a partner, reported less ED. MSM with ejaculation problems, indicated having more ED.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)527-534
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of General Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2013


  • homosexuality
  • internet
  • sexual behavior
  • erectile dysfunction


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