May 18

A large-scale impact study (n = 1046) of the Institute for Women’s Health Badem-Württemberg for frequency of sexual dysfunction in women (Female Sexual Dysfunction, FSD) and ways to treat them was recently published in the prestigious journal Journal of Sexual Medicine.

The aim of this study was to find out about the a) frequency and b) different forms of disorders of female sexual function. Also investigated was the relationship between dysfunction and hormonal contraception with the ‘anti-baby pill’, or more precisely, with different forms of hormonal contraceptives. A standardized questionnaire asked specifically about the participants’ sexual activity and possible influencing factors. Regarding a possible use of contraception, the effects of various contraceptive methods on sexual function as well as different hormonal contraceptives was compared.

The analysis shows that of the participating women, 32.4% had a risk for female sexual dysfunction: 8.7% orgasm problems, 5.8% libido issues (hypoactive sexual desire disorder), 2.6% satisfaction problems, 1.2% had decreased lubrication, 1.1% were suffering from pain during sexual intercourse and 1.0% symptoms of a sexual arousal disorder. Smoking and use of contraception had a significant impact on the prevalence of the prevalence of secual dysfunction, hormonal contraception was significantly more often associated with reduced libido and arousal than non-exclusive non-hormonal contraception or non-contraception. Other variables such as stress, pregnancy, relationship issues and a desire to have children also had a significant impact on sexual function.

The authors point out that the study could primarly detect associations, but can’t prove the causality of individual sexual problems.

(Source: Wallwiener CW, Wallwiener LM, Seeger H, Mueck AO, Bitzer J, and Wallwiener M; Prevalence of Sexual Dysfunction and Impact of Contraception in Female German Medical Students ; doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2010.01742.x)

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