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Changes in Sexual Function among Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A Pilot Study

Authors

  • Sany Rose Ferraresi MD,

    1. Sexual Medicine Service, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil
    2. Sector of Human Reproduction, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil
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  • Lúcia Alves da Silva Lara MD, PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Sexual Medicine Service, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil
    2. Sector of Human Reproduction, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil
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  • Rosana Maria Reis MD, PhD, Professor,

    1. Sexual Medicine Service, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil
    2. Sector of Human Reproduction, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil
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  • Ana Carolina Japur de Sá Rosa e Silva MD, PhD, Professor

    1. Sexual Medicine Service, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil
    2. Sector of Human Reproduction, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil
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Lúcia Alves da Silva Lara, MD, PhD, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Av. Bandeirantes, 3.900, Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo 14040-901, Brazil. Tel: (16) 3602-2804; Fax: (16) 36021524; E-mail: luciaalvess@yahoo.com.br

ABSTRACT

Introduction.  Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) appears to be related to sexual dysfunction, especially if associated with obesity. However, it is not clear whether obesity per se is an independent factor for sexual dysfunction. We hypothesized that obese polycystic ovary syndrome (OPCOS) patients have poorer sexual function than controls and nonobese polycystic ovary syndrome (NOPCOS) women.

Aim.  To assess the sexual function of women (either obese or nonobese) with PCOS compared to women with regular cycles.

Main Outcome Measures.  The main outcome measures were the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) and Free Androgen Index (FAI) values.

Methods.  We used a cross-sectional study design to evaluate 83 women, including 19 nonobese women without PCOS, 24 nonobese women with PCOS, 16 obese women without PCOS, and 24 obese women with PCOS. The FSFI questionnaire was used to gather data from all women, and free testosterone levels were determined and employed to calculate FAI values.

Results.  Higher androgen concentrations were evident in the PCOS groups compared to controls (NOC [nonobese control] 2.3 ± 0.7; OC [obese control] 2.1 ± 0.5; NOPCOS 3.1 ± 0.8; OPCOS 3.5 ± 1.2; P < 0.0001). This was also true for FAI, with the exception of obese controls and nonobese women with PCOS, in whom the levels were similar (NOC 4.9 ± 1.6; OC 6.5 ± 3.1; NOPCOS 7.5 ± 3.9; OPCOS 12.8 ± 5.2; P < 0.05). Evaluation of the total FSFI scores revealed that obese women without PCOS had below-normal sexual function scores, whereas both obese and nonobese women with PCOS had borderline scores compared to controls, who had normal FSFI findings. No association was observed between body mass index, the presence of PCOS, testosterone level, and FSFI score.

Conclusions.  The obese women in our sample were at a higher risk for sexual dysfunction and lower FSFI scores, and women with PCOS had borderline FSFI values, regardless of their obesity status. Based on this result, larger studies using the methods described in this pilot study are warranted to elucidate if obesity can impair sexual function in PCOS women. Ferraresi SR, Lara LAS, Reis RM, and Rosa e Silva ACJS. Changes in sexual function among women with polycystic ovary syndrome: A pilot study. J Sex Med **;**:**–**.

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