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Premature, early ovarian failure linked to arousal dysfunction

06 Oct 2017

Arousal dysfunction appears to be related to early ovarian failure or premature ovarian insufficiency (POI), a study has found. Major factors affecting such association include having a partner with sexual problems, dyspareunia and lack of satisfaction with the partner as a lover.

The cross-sectional population-based study included 540 women (mean age 54.1 years). All participants completed the Short Personal Experiences Questionnaire and were interviewed to collect data regarding sexual dysfunction and the age at menopause.

Sexual dysfunction was reported in 57.4 percent of women aged <40 years, 50.6 percent of women aged 40 to 44 years and 50.6 percent of women aged ≥45 years. Arousal dysfunction was the only sexual function component found to be associated with POI or early menopause (p=0.01).

Among women with POI, arousal dysfunction was reported in 64.2 percent of women aged <40 years compared with 50 percent of women aged 40 to 45 years and 45.6 percent of women aged >45 years.

On Poisson regression analysis, arousal dysfunction in women with POI or early menopause was associated with the following factors: having a partner with sexual problems (prevalence ratio [PR], 6.6; 95 percent CI, 3.3 to 13.2; p<0.001) and dyspareunia (PR, 3.9; 1.8 to 8.2; p=0.0005). Satisfaction with the partner as a lover (PR, 0.4; 0.2 to 0.7; p=0.002) exerted a protective effect against arousal dysfunction.

The present data underscore the importance of evaluating partner problems and improving lubrication in women with premature and early ovarian failure to achieve a better sexual life, researchers said.

Noting the complexity of human sexuality and its involvement with the many factors that go beyond age or hormonal deficiency, researchers recommended a multidisciplinary approach to identify the various factors that may be negatively influencing women with sexual dysfunction, including issues related to the partner, in the management of climacteric sexual dysfunction.

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