Do statins affect erections in men?
The science on statins and sexual function is inconclusive, but it does appear that taking a statin may sometimes affect a person's sex life.
Researchers looked at statin use and sexual function in 1,000 men and women, half of whom were given a statin and half of whom took a placebo. Over all, men on statins were about twice as likely as those taking placebos to report that their ability to achieve orgasm had become “somewhat worse” or “much worse.”
Dr. Beatrice Golomb, a professor at the University of California, San Diego, medical school, who helped conduct that study, says doctors don't always take patients seriously when they talk about side effects, sexual or otherwise. In other research, Dr. Golomb found that when patients complained about the most commonly recognized side effects of statins, their doctors denied the possibility of a connection more than half the time.
Medical problems that lead to a statin prescription might also be to blame for changes in sexual function, said Dr. Natan Bar-Chama, director of male reproductive medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. Statins are commonly prescribed for people with ailments such as diabetes or heart disease, which can cause erectile dysfunction. If the underlying disease improves when someone takes statins, then erectile function is likely to improve as well, he said.