The drug cabergoline may benefit men with anorgasmia, the inability to reach orgasm in response to typical sexual stimulation.
Researchers from the Baylor College of Medicine presented these findings at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA) in May.
Anorgasmia often stems from psychological issues, such as performance anxiety, stress, or relationship problems. However, it can also have physical causes, like diabetes and hypertension. Anorgasmia can be a side effect of certain medications. Some men develop anorgasmia after a prostatectomy.
After a man ejaculates, prolactin levels in his bloodstream increase substantially. The Baylor researchers wanted to know whether cabergoline, which inhibits prolactin, would help restore orgasms in anorgasmic men.
The researchers conducted a retrospective review on 72 anorgasmic men who were treated with cabergoline at one andrology clinic from 2009 to 2011. The mean age of the patients was 63. Each patient was given 0.5 mg of cabergoline twice a week.
The mean treatment period was 214 days for men who didn’t respond to therapy and 296 days for those who did.
Sixty-nine percent of the men reported improvement in orgasms with treatment. Fifty-two percent of the men in this group said their orgasms were back to normal.
Men who were on testosterone replacement therapy while taking cabergoline were more likely to see improvement.
While the study results are promising, more research and validation are needed. In a Harvard Health blog post, Daniel Pendick, Executive Editor of Harvard Men’s Health Watch, pointed out that the study is a small one, undertaken at only one clinic in a short time period. It is still uncertain if random factors played a role in some men’s improvement. And the study did not investigate the risks of the drug in relation to the benefits.
“Further study is needed to better understand the pathophysiology of male anorgasmia as well as cabergoline’s mechanism of action in these patients,” the study authors concluded in their abstract.
The study’s findings have not been published in a peer-reviewed journal and should be considered preliminary until such publication.
(Updated March 16, 2012)
American Urological Association Annual Meeting – Abstracts
Hsieh, Tung-Chin, et al.
“Cabergoline for the Treatment of Male Anorgasmia”
(Abstract – Moderated Poster Presentation. May 22, 2012)
Harvard Health Publications
“A new option for orgasm problems in men”
(May 29, 2012)
“Drug Restores Normal Orgasm in Men”
(May 24, 2012)
Preda, Adrian, MD
(Updated: January 17, 2012)