The prevalence of sexual dysfunctions and sexually related distress in young women: a cross-sectional survey

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Abstract

Objective: To document the prevalence of female sexual dysfunctions (FSDs) and factors associated with FSDs and sexually related personal distress in premenopausal women. Design: Community-based cross-sectional study. Setting: Eastern states of Australia. Participants: Women aged 18–39 years. Interventions(s): Not applicable. Main Outcome Measure(s): Women were classified as having sexually related personal distress if they had a Female Sexual Distress Scale–Revised score of ≥11, and as having an FSD if they had a low Profile of Female Sexual Function desire, arousal, orgasmic function, responsiveness, or sexual self-image domain score plus sexually related personal distress. Sociodemographic factors associated with an FSD were examined by means of multivariable logistic regression. Result(s): The prevalence of sexually related personal distress was 50.2%. Sexually related personal distress without dysfunction affected 29.6%, and 20.6% had at least one FSD. The proportions of women with self-image, arousal, desire, orgasm, and responsiveness dysfunction were 11.1%, 9%, 8%, 7.9%, and 3.4% respectively. Sexual self-image dysfunction was associated with being overweight, obese, living together, not married, married, breastfeeding, and taking a psychotropic medication. Psychotropic medication was significantly associated with all FSDs. Independent risk factors for nonspecific sexually related personal distress included psychotropic medication., sexual inactivity, and infertility treatment. Conclusion(s): That one-half of young Australian women have sexually related personal distress and one in five women have at least an FSD, with sexual self-image predominating, is concerning. The high prevalence of distress signals the importance of health professionals being adequately prepared to discuss sexual health concerns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)426-434
Number of pages9
JournalFertility and Sterility
Volume113
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020

Keywords

  • Female sexual dysfunction
  • premenopause
  • sexual distress

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