The association between gout, the most common crystal arthropathy, and sexual dysfunctions has often been investigated by studies in the last decades. Despite the presence of shared risk factors and comorbidities and the possible effects on sexual health of long-term gout complications, awareness of this association is severely lacking and the pathogenetic mechanisms have only partially been identified. In the present review, we aimed to investigate the current evidence regarding the potential mechanisms linking sexual dysfunctions and gout.
A comprehensive literature search within PubMed was performed to provide a summary of currently available evidence regarding the association between gout and sexual dysfunctions.
Gout and sexual dysfunctions share several risk factors, including diabesity, chronic kidney disease, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, and peripheral vascular disease. Gout flares triggered by intense inflammatory responses feature severe pain and disability, resulting in worse sexual function, and some, but not all, treatments can also impair sexual health. Long-term gout complications can result in persistent pain and disability due to joint deformity, fractures, or nerve compression, with negative bearing on sexual function. The presence of low-grade inflammation impairs both sex steroids synthesis and endothelial function, further advancing sexual dysfunctions. The psychological burden of gout is another issue negatively affecting sexual health.
According to currently available evidence, several biological and psychological mechanisms link sexual dysfunctions and gout. Addressing risk factors and providing adequate treatment could potentially have beneficial effects on both conditions. Appropriate clinical evaluation and multidisciplinary approach are recommended to improve patient care.

© 2021. Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE).