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Manic, depressive symptoms affect sexual function in individuals with bipolar disorder

08 Aug 2018

In bipolar individuals, depressive and manic symptoms appear to negatively affect sexual functioning, a recent study has found.

Using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, researchers conducted structured interviews with 60 participants with bipolar disorders and 60 age-matched controls. Depressive and manic symptoms were evaluated. Sexual function was evaluated using the international indices of erectile function (IIEF) and female sexual function index (FSFI).

In males, manic symptoms evaluated by the Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS) were significantly correlated with IIEF scores (r=0.414; p=0.023). In contrast, depressive symptoms as measured by the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) were not associated with erectile function scores (r=0.349; p=0.059).

In females, mean scores in the different items of the FSFI were higher in controls than in those with bipolar disorder (p<0.001). HAM-D scores were significantly inversely correlated with the following domains of the FSFI: desire (r=0.680; p<0.0011), arousal (r=0.574; p=0.001), lubrication (r=0.517; p=0.003), orgasm (r=0.569; p=0.001), satisfaction (r=0.532; p=0.002) and overall score (r=0.609; p<0.001).

No such significant correlations with sexual functioning were observed for YMRS score.

Notably, there was a significant correlation between female satisfaction and partners’ IIEF score (r=0.374; p=0.042). Conversely, mean IIEF scores of partners of control vs bipolar women were significantly higher (23.8±0.97 vs 21.7±1.21; p<0.001).

“This study demonstrated that the manic symptoms were associated with sexual hyperfunctioning in the affected men but not the affected women,” said researchers, adding that further studies in larger cohorts are needed to confirm these findings.

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