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Effect of prolactin on penile erection: a cross-sectional study


1 Department of Urology, The Second Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan 250011, China
2 Department of Urology, Shandong Provincial Hospital, Shandong 250021, China
3 Shandong University, Jinan 250012, China

Correspondence Address:
Sheng-Tian Zhao,
Department of Urology, Shandong Provincial Hospital, Shandong 250021, China; Shandong University, Jinan 250012, China

Yong Guan,
Department of Urology, The Second Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan 250011, China

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aja.aja_22_19

PMID: 31044754

Although elevated prolactin levels have been shown to inhibit penile erection, the relationship between prolactin and erection of the penile tip or base has not been extensively researched. We therefore investigated the prolactin's effects on erection of the penile tip and base, with a cross-sectional study of 135 patients with erectile dysfunction, based on scores of ≤21 on the International Index of Erectile Function-5. All patients were tested for nocturnal penile tumescence, blood pressure, serum glucose, total cholesterol, triglyceride, high-density lipoprotein, low-density lipoprotein, luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, prolactin, estradiol, testosterone, and progesterone. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to assess the associations between prolactin levels and erection at the penile tip and base. We found no obvious relationship between erection time at penile tip and prolactin levels, but observed a negative correlation between base erection time and prolactin level (hazard ratio: −2.68; 95% confidence interval [CI]: −5.13–−0.22). With increasing prolactin concentration, multivariate analysis showed obvious reduction in base erection time among patients with normal Rigiscan results (hazard ratio: −3.10; 95% CI: −7.96–1.77; P < 0.05). Our data indicate that prolactin inhibits penile erection, particularly at the penile base. In addition, when the effective erection time of the penile base lasts longer than 10 min, prolactin has a more obvious inhibitory effect on penile base erection.


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