Hypoactive sexual desire dysfunction in community-dwelling older women

Berihun M Zeleke, Robin J Bell, Baki Billah, Susan R Davis
Menopause: the Journal of the North American Menopause Society 2017, 24 (4): 391-399

OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of hypoactive sexual desire dysfunction (HSDD) and its associated factors in women aged 65 to 79 years.

METHODS: A questionnaire-based, cross-sectional study was conducted amongst community-dwelling older women. Participants were recruited between April and August 2014 from a national database based on electoral rolls. Sexual function and sexual distress were assessed by the Female Sexual Function Index and the Female Sexual Distress Scale-Revised, respectively. HSDD was defined as the presence of both low sexual desire and sexually related personal distress.

RESULTS: The mean ± SD age of the 1,548 women was 71 ± 3.4 years and 52.6% were partnered. Among the participants, 88.0% (95% confidence interval [CI], 86.3%-89.6%) had low sexual desire, 15.5% (95% CI, 13.8%-17.4%) had sexually related personal distress, and 13.6% (95% CI, 11.9%-15.4%) had HSDD. The HSDD was more common among partnered than among unpartnered women (23.7% vs 5.9%; P < 0.001). Being partnered (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 4.21; 95% CI, 2.50-7.07), having vaginal dryness during intercourse (AOR = 2.37; 95% CI, 1.58-3.55), having symptomatic pelvic floor dysfunction (AOR = 1.92; 95% CI, 1.29-2.92), and having moderate-to-severe depressive symptoms (AOR = 4.15; 95% CI, 2.16-7.96) were independently associated with having HSDD. In a subanalysis, HSDD was more common among sexually active than sexually inactive women (31.5% vs 17.3%; P < 0.001). Furthermore, 32% (95% CI, 27.7%-38.3%) of partnered sexually active women had HSDD, as did 22% (95% CI, 11.5%-37.8%) of unpartnered sexually active women.

CONCLUSIONS: HSDD is common and associated with potentially modifiable risk factors in older women. It should not be assumed that unpartnered older women are sexually inactive or are not distressed by low sexual desire.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"