Hormones are not the key to younger women’s sexual function

Monash University, 22 July 2020

A Monash University study into the causes of sexual dysfunction in young women has found social factors play just as important a role as hormone levels, and hormone therapy should not be prescribed as the only treatment.

The study uncovered that while hormones, including androgens like testosterone, play a role, the things that matter more are whether a woman has children (parity), being partnered or taking psychoactive medication for depression or other mental health issues.

The sex lives of young women marked by frustration, stress, guilt and embarrassment

Monash University, 24 Feb 2020

Professor Susan Davis, a leading Monash University expert on women’s health, admits it was a highly ambitious project: minutely studying the sexual wellbeing of 7000 young Australian women with particular focus on complicated, intimate ideas such as desire, arousal, orgasm, responsiveness and self-esteem.

Now that it’s done (and published this week in the international journal Fertility and Sterility), she’s “very concerned.” The main finding is that half of the women studied experience personal “distress” related to sex. One in five has at least one sexual dysfunction. “Young” means aged 18 to 39. The concern, she says, is because “sexual wellbeing is recognised as a fundamental human right”.

“This is a wake-up call to the community,” she says. “This is what we [society] are doing to people. We expected to find that a meaningful number of young women had sexual issues, but we were not expecting to find half were distressed sexually.”

More than half of Aussie men report experiencing sexual difficulties

The Conversation, March 22, 2019

One in two Australian men aged 18 to 55 have experienced sexual difficulty in the past 12 months, according to data released this week.

The findings are drawn from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Male Health, which included more than 12,000 men. Overall, 54% of sexually active men reported having at least one specific sexual problem lasting three months or more.

The men reported a range of difficulties.

Do Estrogen Therapies Affect Sexual Function in Early Postmenopause?

JAMA Internal Medicine, 2017

Transdermal estrogen therapy delivered through the skin modestly improved sexual function in early postmenopausal women, according to an article published by JAMA Internal Medicine.

Declining estrogen levels around the menopausal transition are commonly associated with sexual dysfunction, which can be an important determinant of women’s health and quality of life.

In the new article, Hugh S. Taylor, M.D., of the Yale School of Medicine, and his coauthors report on an ancillary study of a clinical trial that examined changes in sexual function in recently postmenopausal women.

 

Psychosexual Complications of FGM for Couples: A Comparative Study in Iran

wadi.org, 29.04.2017

Most research on the health and sexuality consequences of FGM has been limited to circumcised women, and prior to this study, no research was done on the effects of FGM in couples. With attention on psychosexual problems related to FGM and on increasing numbers of women who were circumcised in childhood and who have now reached the age of marriage or of being married, the sexual function, mental health and marital satisfaction of these women and their husbands is going to become an increasingly important issue.

Our study makes several contributions to what is known about the association between the relationship of mental health, marital satisfaction, and sexual function among couples who are victims of FGM. We found that FGM is strongly associated with marital dissatisfaction, sexual dysfunction, and psychiatric symptoms for both wife and husband victims of FGM. As we expected, in the field of fear, paranoid thoughts, psychotic thoughts, depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive tendencies, and feelings of inferiority, couples who were victims of FGM were in worse mental condition than normal couples Second, we found that marital satisfaction of couples who were victims of FGM was lower and worse condition than that of normal couples, specifically in the fields of personal issues, marital relationship, solving problems, and sexual relationship Finally, we found that sexual function of couples who were victims of FGM was lower, specifically in psychological arousal, physiologic arousal, ease of orgasm, and orgasm satisfaction, compared with normal couples.

  • Read more here
  • Access full text of journal article (PDF) here  

 

 

 

Mystery of the female orgasm may be solved

Guardian, Monday 1 August 2016

The purpose of the euphoric sensation of the female orgasm has long perplexed scientists, as it is not necessary for conception, and is often not experienced by women during sex itself. Now researchers in the US say they might have found its evolutionary roots. Human female orgasm, they say, might be a spin-off from our evolutionary past, when the hormonal surges that accompany it were crucial for reproduction.

  • Read more here
  • Access journal paper The Evolutionary Origin of Female Orgasm here