The Effect of Behçet's Disease on Sexual Function and Psychiatric Status of Premenopausal Women


  • Preliminary results of this study were presented at the 8th Congress of the European Society for Sexual and Impotence Research, December 4–7, 2005, Copenhagen, Denmark.

M. Murad Basar, MD, Birlik Mahallesi, 96. Sokak 10/3, Cankaya 06610, Ankara, Turkey. Tel: +90-312-4956836; Fax: +90-318-2252819; E-mail:


Introduction.  Little is known about the relationship between Behçet's disease (BD) and female sexual dysfunction (FSD).

Aims.  The aims were to evaluate the prevalence of FSD in premenopausal BD patients and to compare hormonal and psychiatric conditions to healthy subjects.

Methods.  A total of 71 married women with BD and 63 healthy married women between 18 and 44 years old were enrolled into the study. After evaluating detailed history and physical examination, serum steroid hormone levels were measured. Presence of genital ulcerations in physical examination and any medical treatment were recorded in patients. All subjects were asked to complete the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) for sexual status and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) for psychiatric assessment.

Main Outcomes Measures.  FSFI and BDI scores and serum sex steroid hormone levels were measured in women with BD and healthy controls.

Results.  The mean BDI score of patients was significantly greater than that for controls (P = 0.001), and there was a statistically significant difference between BDI scores (Pearson χ2 = 19.109, P = 0.001). FSD was found in 34 patients with BD (47.9%) and in 11 controls (17.5%). A statistically significant difference was found between the two groups (Pearson χ2 = 13.855, P = 0.001). While the most common sexual problem in the patients with BD was diminished arousal (n = 49, 69.0%), diminished desire was found in 32 patients (45.1%) and lubrication problems in 36 patients (50.7%). There was a statistically significant negative correlation between BDI and FSFI score in BD patients. On the contrary, there was no relationship between FSFI and presence of genital ulcerations.

Conclusion.  FSD is more common in BD patients than in healthy subjects. We conclude that depressive mood according to the BDI scale correlates with the sexual status of BD patients, and this may be because of the depressive effect of BD as a chronic disease. Koçak M, Başar MM, Vahapoğlu G, Mert HÇ, and GüngörŞ. The effect of Behçet's disease on sexual function and psychiatric status of premenopausal women. J Sex Med 2009;6:1341–1348.