Sexual Dysfunction in Women with Clinical Hypothyroidism and Subclinical Hypothyroidism


Gokhan Atis, MD, Soyak olimpiakent D: 12 D:53 Ikitelli Istanbul 34303, Turkey. Tel: 90 532 708 89 81; Fax: 90 216 521 86 08; E-mail:


Introduction.  Hypothyroidism is a common hormonal disorder in women that may affect the phases of female sexual function.

Aim.  To investigate female sexual function in patients with clinic hypothyroidism and subclinic hypothyroidism.

Methods.  A total of 25 women with clinic hypothyroidism (group 4), 25 women with subclinic hypothyroidism [thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) value ≤10 mU/L (group 2), TSH value >10 mU/L (group 3)], and 20 age matched voluntary healthy women controls (group 1) were included in the study. All the subjects were evaluated with a detailed medical and sexual history, including a female sexual function index (FSFI) questionnaire for sexual status and the Beck Depression Inventory for psychiatric assessment.

Main Outcome Measures.  The levels of serum TSH, thyroid hormones, prolactin (PRL), free testosterone, estradiol, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, lipid profile, and blood glucose were measured.

Results.  Female sexual dysfunction (FSD) was diagnosed in 14 of 25 patients (56%) in group 4, in 6 of 11 patients (54.6%) in group 3, in 2 of 14 patients (14.6%) in group 2, and while only 3 of 20 the control group of women (15%) had FSD (P = 0.006). The mean total FSFI scores were 23.9 in the group 4, 26.03 in the group 3, 29.2 in the group 2, and 32.30 in the control group (P < 0.0001). The mean BDI score for clinic hypothyroidic patients was significantly greater than the scores for the control group and for the group 2 (P = 0.017 and P = 0.043, respectively). The mean PRL levels for patients in group 4 and group 3 were found to be significantly higher than the level for controls (P < 0.0001), whereas other serum hormone levels were not different among groups.

Conclusions.  A significant percent of women with clinic hypothyroidism and subclinic hypothyroidism with TSH values >10 mU/L had sexual dysfunction. Hyperprolactinemia, hyperlipidemia, and depression were associated with FSD in clinic hypothyroidism. Different than clinic hypothyroidism depression was not associated with FSD in subclinic hypothyroidism with TSH values >10 mU/L. Atis G, Dalkilinc A, Altuntas Y, Atis A, Caskurlu T, and Ergenekon, E. Sexual dysfunction in women with clinical hypothyroidism and subclinical hypothyroidism. J Sex Med 2010;7:2583–2590.