Risk Factors for Individual Domains of Female Sexual Function


Bang-Ping Jiann, MD, Division of Urology, Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital, 386 Ta-Chung 1st Road, Kaohsiung 813, Taiwan. Tel: (886)-7-3422121 ext. 3010; Fax: (886)-7-3455064; E-mail: bpjiaan@vghks.gov.tw


Introduction.  Female sexual function contains four major subtypes of desire, arousal, orgasm, and pain. Few studies used validated instruments to determine the dysfunction in these areas and assess their risk factors.

Aim.  To assess the prevalence of and risk factors for individual components of sexual difficulty in women.

Methods.  A self-administered questionnaire containing the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) was given to 2,159 woman employees of two hospitals to assess their sexual function and its correlates.

Main Outcome Measures.  The associations between female sexual difficulty in individual domains defined by the FSFI domain scores and potential risk factors assessed by simple questions.

Results.  Among the 1,580 respondents, 930 women's data were eligible for analysis with a mean age of 36.1 years (range 20–67). Of them, 43.8% had sexual difficulty in one or more domains, including low desire in 31.3%; low arousal, 18.2%; low lubrication, 4.8%; low orgasmic function, 10.4%; low satisfaction, 7.3%; and sexual pain, 10.5%. Compared with the younger women (20–49 years), the oldest age group (50–67 years) had a significantly higher prevalence in low desire, low arousal, and low lubrication, but not in the other domains. Based on multivariate logistic regression analyses, poor relationship with the partner and perception of partner's sexual dysfunction were major risk factors for low desire, low arousal, low orgasmic function, and low satisfaction. Age and urge urinary incontinence were associated with low lubrication and sexual pain. Most comorbidities were not related to these difficulties, except diabetes being related to low desire.

Conclusions.  Relationship factors had substantial impact on female sexual function in desire, arousal, orgasm, and satisfaction. On the other hand, women's lubrication problem and sexual pain were related predominantly with biological factors. These are initial results and future research is needed to confirm them. Jiann B-P, Su C-C, Yu C-C, Wu TT, and Huang J-K. Risk factors for individual domains of female sexual function. J Sex Med 2009;6:3364–3375.