Surgery for obesity and related diseases : official journal of the American Society for Bariatric Surgery

Sexual functioning and sex hormones in men who underwent bariatric surgery.

PMID 25868832


The relationship between obesity and impairments in male sexual functioning is well documented. Relatively few studies have investigated changes in sexual functioning and sex hormones in men who achieve significant weight loss with bariatric surgery. The objective of this study was to assess changes in sexual functioning, sex hormones, and relevant psychosocial constructs in men who underwent bariatric surgery. A prospective cohort study of 32 men from the Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery-2 (LABS) investigation who underwent a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (median body mass index [25th percentile, 75th percentile] 45.1 [42.0, 52.2]) and completed assessments between 2006 and 2012. Bariatric surgery was performed by a LABS-certified surgeon. Sexual functioning was assessed by the International Index of Erectile Functioning (IIEF). Hormones were assessed by blood assay. Quality of life (QoL), body image, depressive symptoms and marital adjustment were assessed by questionnaire. Men lost, on average, (95% confidence interval) 33.3% (36.1%, 30.5%) of initial weight at postoperative year 1, 33.6% (36.8%, 30.5%) at year 2, 31.0% (34.1%, 27.9%) at year 3, and 29.4% (32.7%, 26.2%) at year 4. Participants experienced significant increases in total testosterone (P<.001) and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) (P<.001) through postoperative year 4. Although men reported improvements in sexual functioning after surgery, these changes did not significantly differ from baseline, with the exception of overall satisfaction at postoperative year 3 (P = .008). Participants reported significant improvements in physical domains of health-related quality of life (HRQoL), all domains of weight-related QOL, and body image, but not in the mental health domains of HRQoL or relationship satisfaction. Men who lost approximately one third of their weight after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass experienced significant increases in total testosterone and SHBG. They did not, however, report significant improvements in sexual functioning, relationship satisfaction, or mental health domains of HRQoL. This pattern of results differs from that of women who have undergone bariatric surgery, who reported almost uniform improvements in sexual functioning and psychosocial status.