INTRODUCTION: This systematic review protocol aims to provide a protocol for assessing the safety and effectiveness of acupuncture for the treatment of erectile dysfunction(ED). Previous systematic reviews did not draw convincing conclusions owing to high heterogeneity and few included randomised controlled trials, so it is necessary to reassess the efficacy and safety of acupuncture for ED. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: Eight electronic databases will be searched: the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, PubMed, EMBASE, PsycInfo, the Chinese Biomedical Literature Database (CBM), the Chinese Medical Current Content (CMCC) and the China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI). Related Chinese literature will be searched in other Chinese databases. All relevant randomised controlled trials in English or Chinese without any restrictions of publication type will be included. The main outcome measure will be improvements in sexual activity assessed by validated questionnaires. Assessment of risk of bias, data synthesis and subgroup analysis will be carried out using Review Manager 5.3. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The results of the systematic review will be disseminated via publication in a peer-reviewed journal and presented at a relevant conference. The data we will use do not include individual patient data, so ethical approval is not required. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: PROSPERO CRD42014013575.