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Vol 20, No 2 (2023)
Review paper
Published online: 2023-07-18
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The impact of post-traumatic stress disorder on sexual dysfunction

Monika Nowak1, Julia Wójcik1, Katarzyna Logoń1, Małgorzata Kaczmarek1, Klaudia Łyżwa1, Joanna Zapała1, Patryk Piotrowski2
Psychiatria 2023;20(2):100-107.


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric condition that can result from experiencing or witnessing
a traumatic event. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of PTSD on sexual disorders.
Results showed that sexual dysfunction is a common problem experienced by individuals with PTSD, and it can include
a range of issues such as decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, and difficulty achieving orgasm.
The effects of PTSD on sexual function can be complex and multifactorial. Some studies suggest that trauma’s psychological
and emotional impact can lead to changes in sexual desire, arousal, and response. Additionally, individuals
with PTSD may experience physical symptoms such as pain or discomfort during sexual activity.
Treatment for PTSD, including prolonged exposure therapy and present-centred therapy, may improve sexual function
in some individuals. However, the relationship between PTSD and sexual dysfunction is still not well understood, and
more research is needed to better understand the mechanisms underlying this association and to develop effective
In summary, sexual dysfunction is a common problem among individuals with PTSD. The complex interplay between
psychological and physical factors can make treatment challenging, but a multidisciplinary approach that addresses
both the psychological and physical aspects of sexual dysfunction may be effective in improving the quality of life
for those with PTSD.

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