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Abstract

Sexual behavior in women with liver disease was examined in 150 women to determine whether liver disease influenced sexual desire, frequency or performance. The average age of women studied was 53 years (range: 26 to 76 years), and a wide variety of liver diseases were represented. Sexual desire was reduced in 33%. Difficulty in becoming sexually aroused was noted by 18%. Orgasm during intercourse was not experienced by 25%. The frequency of sexual intercourse decreased since onset of disease in 27%. Dyspareunia was a complaint by 21%, most often attributed to decreased vaginal lubrication. Liver disease was considered a significant factor interfering with sexual function in 17%. No statistical difference was found between sexual desire or function in our study and in large studies of sexual behavior in women. Each category was subdivided by presence or absence of cirrhosis, pre- or postmenopausal state, laboratory values and duration of disease. Except for a greater number of postmenopausal women with complaints of painful intercourse, no statistical differences or trends were found. Nonalcoholic liver disease does not affect sexual desire, function or performance. Variables other than liver disease influence sexuality. Women with liver disease can thus be reassured that they can maintain normal sexual relations.