This work was presented in part at the Eating Disorders Research Society Meeting, Pittsburgh, PA, October 2007.
Sexual functioning in women with eating disorders†
Article first published online: 3 MAR 2009
Copyright © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
International Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume 43, Issue 2, pages 123–129, March 2010
How to Cite
Pinheiro, A. P., Raney, T.J., Thornton, L. M., Fichter, M. M., Berrettini, W. H., Goldman, D., Halmi, K. A., Kaplan, A. S., Strober, M., Treasure, J., Woodside, D. B., Kaye, W. H. and Bulik, C. M. (2010), Sexual functioning in women with eating disorders. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 43: 123–129. doi: 10.1002/eat.20671
- Issue published online: 3 FEB 2010
- Article first published online: 3 MAR 2009
- Manuscript Accepted: 8 DEC 2008
- National Institutes of Health, Bethesda. Grant Number: MH66117
- Franklin Mint Endowed Chair in Eating Disorders
- anorexia nervosa;
- eating disorders;
- sexual behavior;
- sexual dysfunction
To describe sexual functioning in women with eating disorders.
We assessed physical intimacy, libido, sexual anxiety, partner status, and sexual relationships in 242 women from the International Price Foundation Genetic Studies relative to normative data.
Intercourse (55.3%), having a partner (52.7%), decreased sexual desire (66.9%), and increased sexual anxiety (59.2%) were common. Women with restricting and purging anorexia nervosa had a higher prevalence of loss of libido than women with bulimia nervosa and eating disorder not otherwise specified (75%, 74.6%, 39%, and 45.4%, respectively). Absence of sexual relationships was associated with lower minimum lifetime body mass index (BMI) and earlier age of onset; loss of libido with lower lifetime BMI, higher interoceptive awareness and trait anxiety; and sexual anxiety with lower lifetime BMI, higher harm avoidance and ineffectiveness. Sexual dysfunction in eating disorders was higher than in the normative sample.
Sexual dysfunction is common across eating disorders subtypes. Low BMI is associated with loss of libido, sexual anxiety, and avoidance of sexual relationships. © 2009 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2010