Sexual dysfunction in polycystic ovary syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Huai Heng Loh, Anne Yee, Huai Seng Loh, Sharmilla Kanagasundram, Benedict Francis, Lee Ling Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common disorder characterized by clinical or biochemical hyperandrogenism and ovulary dysfunction. Female sexual dysfunction (FSD) adversely affects quality of life and interpersonal relationships. We aimed to compare the prevalence of FSD in women with and without PCOS. Methods: We pooled data from 28 observational studies involving 6256 women. Apart from the total prevalence of FSD, subgroup analyses based on different PCOS diagnostic criteria and obesity status (body mass index [BMI] ≥ 25 kg/m2) were performed. The differences in total and subscale scores of the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) among women with and without PCOS were also compared. Results: Women with PCOS were younger (mean ± SD 28.56 ± 3.0 vs 31.5 ± 3.2 years, p < 0.001) with higher BMI (28.5 ± 4.2 vs 27.0 ± 6.1 kg/m2, p < 0.001), Ferriman-Gallwey score (10.0 ± 3.2 vs 4.0 ± 2.1, p < 0.001), and serum total testosterone level (2.34 ± 0.58 nmol/L vs 1.57 ± 0.60 nmol/L, p < 0.001) compared with women without PCOS. The prevalence of FSD among women with and without PCOS was 35% and 29.6%, respectively. There was no significant difference in total FSFI score (24.59 ± 3.97 vs 26.04 ± 3.05, p = 0.237) between the two groups. Women with PCOS, however, had significantly lower scores in the pain (p < 0.001) and satisfaction subscales (p = 0.010) compared with women without PCOS. Women with PCOS had 1.32 higher odds (95% CI 1.07, 1.61) of having FSD than women without PCOS. Conclusion: Women with PCOS have a higher risk of FSD than those without PCOS. Although total FSFI scores were not significantly different, women with PCOS tended to report dyspareunia and lack of sexual satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-423
Number of pages11
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Female sexual dysfunction
  • Female Sexual Function Index
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome

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