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The Prevalence and Causes of Sexual Problems among Premenopausal Turkish Women


Pembe Keskinoglu, MD, Dokuz Eylül University, School of Medicine, Department of Public Health, 35340, Inciralti/Izmir, Turkey. Tel: +90-232-412-40-01; Fax: +90-232-278-68-64; E-mail:


Introduction.  Sexual dysfunction in females is an important public health problem worldwide. It is suggested that sexual problems among women are more common than the number of diagnosed female sexual dysfunction (FSD) cases indicates.

Aim.  To determine the frequency and causes of sexual problems among premenopausal and married women who attend primary healthcare facilities.

Methods.  This study was conducted at the Mother and Child Health and Family Planning Center. All women who attended this center during a 3-month period were included in the study. Sexual problems were evaluated via questionnaire and a standardized scale known as the Golombok Rust Inventory of Sexual Satisfaction (GRISS).

Main Outcome Measure.  A cross-sectional study.

Results.  Although a total of 422 women aged 19–51 years were eligible for inclusion in the study, the participation rate was 27%. Nearly two-thirds of the women were aged 20–34 years, and of this group, 84.3% were unemployed. According to self-reports, 15.7% (18) of the women had sexual problems, whereas the prevalence of sexual dysfunction using GRISS was 26.1%. Vaginismus (41.7%), infrequent intercourse (39.1%), and nonsensuality (38.3%) were the most common complaints of the women with sexual problems. The rate of sexual dissatisfaction was found to be 7%. Sexual problems among women who had a long-term marriage (more than 11 years) and who were sexually inexperienced at the time of their marriage were significantly higher (P = 0.036, P = 0.034, respectively). It was found that discussing sexual problems with husbands and healthcare professionals did not reduce sexual problems.

Conclusions.  According to GRISS, nearly one-quarter of the women were suffering from sexual problems. The most common sexual problem was vaginismus, followed by infrequent intercourse. It is suggested that inadequate knowledge and the attitudes of spouses and health workers in primary healthcare settings are the important causes of FSD in this population. Oniz A, Keskinoglu P, and Bezircioglu I. The prevalence and causes of sexual problems among premenopausal Turkish women. J Sex Med 2007;4:1575–1581.