ORIGINAL RESEARCH—EPIDEMIOLOGY: The Prevalence of Sexual Dysfunction and Potential Risk Factors That May Impair Sexual Function in Malaysian Women


Hatta Sidi, MD, Department of Psychiatry, National University Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Cheras 56000, Malaysia. Tel: (603) 91733333; Fax: (603) 91737841; E-mail: hattasidi@hotmail.com


Introduction.  Female sexual dysfunction (FSD) is a prevalent sexual health problem that does not spare the women in Malaysia, a nation with a conservative multiethnic society.

Aim.  To investigate the prevalence of FSD and the potential risk factors that may impair sexual function among women at a primary care setting in Malaysia.

Main Outcome Measure.  The prevalence, the risk factors, and the main predictors for FSD were measured among these women.

Methods.  A validated Malay version of the Female Sexual Function Index was used to assess FSD. A total of 230 married women aged 18–70 years participated in this study. The sociodemographic and marital profiles of women who had FSD and those who did not were compared; the risk factors for FSD were determined.

Results.  The majority of the respondents were younger than 50 years old, predominantly Malays, and had a higher academic achievement. The prevalence of FSD in the primary care population was 29.6%. The prevalence of women with lack of orgasms, low sexual arousal, lack of lubrication, sexual dissatisfaction, and sexual pain were 59.1%, 60.9%, 50.4%, 52.2%, and 67.8%, respectively.

Conclusion.  The risk factors for FSD are older age, Malays, married longer (more than 14 years), having less sexual intercourse (less than 1–2 times a week), having more children, married to an older husband (aged >42 years), and having a higher academic status. Lack of lubrication is found to be the main predictor for FSD in this study. Is lack of lubrication a cause or a complication of FSD? Prospective research is needed in the near future. Sidi H, Puteh SEW, Abdullah N, and Midin M. The prevalence of sexual dysfunction and potential risk factors that may impair sexual function in Malaysian women. J Sex Med 2007;4:311–321.