Epidemiological Study of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Use for the Improvement of Sexual Function in Young Korean Men: The Korean Internet Sexuality Survey (KISS), Part II


Hwancheol Son, PhD, Department of Urology, Seoul National University Boramae Hospital, Sindaebang 2-dong, Dongjak-gu, Seoul 156-707, Korea. Tel: +82-2-870-2391; Fax: +82-2-870-3863; E-mail: volley@snu.ac.kr


Introduction.  Few studies have been conducted on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for improving sexual function.

Aims.  We investigate CAM use for improving sexual function and propose a model explaining what leads to CAM use.

Methods.  Participants between 20 and 59 years old were recruited from an Internet research panel representing young Korean men. Participants were asked to complete questionnaires on demographic details, attitude toward sexual activity, sexual function, CAM use, and desire to use CAM. Subjects were classified into three subgroups. Men who use CAM, men who desire but do not actually use CAM, and men who neither use nor desire to use CAM were allocated to groups A (actual user), P (potential user), and N (nonuser), respectively.

Main Outcome Measures.  CAM use, desire to use CAM, questionnaires on self-reported sexual function and attitude toward sexual activity, International Index of Erectile Function-5, Premature Ejaculation Diagnostic Tool, and Short Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36).

Results.  Among 443 subjects with a mean age of 39.2 ± 10.2 years, 49 (11.1%) used CAM for improving sexual function (group A). Dietary supplements were most commonly used. Overall mean satisfaction for the used CAM was 55.5 ± 24.2%. There were 192 (43.3%) men who desired but did not use CAM (group P). According to multivariate analysis, risk factors for desiring CAM included drinking (odds ratio [OR] = 2.24, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.28–3.91), regarding sex a very important part of life (OR = 2.16; 95% CI = 1.41–4.09), self-reported erectile dysfunction (ED) (OR = 5.08; 95% CI = 1.60–16.1), and self-reported premature ejaculation (PE) (OR = 3.34; 95% CI = 1.65–6.76). Risk factors for actual CAM use included smoking (OR = 2.49; 95% CI = 1.11–5.61), a strongly positive attitude toward sexual activity (OR = 3.77; 95% CI = 1.42–9.99), low role emotion points on the SF-36 (OR = 0.98; 95% CI = 0.97–0.99), and self-reported non-PE (OR = 0.22; 95% CI = 0.06–0.73).

Conclusions.  Smoking, drinking, self-reported ED, self-reported PE, attitude toward sexual activity, and emotional problems play roles in making decisions concerning CAM use. Choi WS, Song SH, and Son H. Epidemiological study of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use for the improvement of sexual function in young Korean men: The Korean Internet Sexuality Survey (KISS), part II. J Sex Med 2012;9:2238–2247.