FRIDAY, Aug. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Low sexual function is prevalent among middle-aged Brazilian women, with low sexual desire seen in the majority; and, low arousal and orgasmic function, each found in more than 30 percent of women, is affected by various factors, including presence of a sexual partner, according to a study published online Aug. 2 in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.
Ana Lúcia Ribeiro Valadares, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Campinas in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and colleagues assessed the prevalence of low levels of sexual desire, arousal, and orgasm and the associated factors, with an assessment of the frequency of sexual activity among 378 Brazilian-born women between the ages of 40 and 65 years.
The investigators found that the prevalence of low sexual desire, low arousal, and low orgasmic function was 60.6, 37.0, and 31.1 percent, respectively. Multiple regression analysis revealed that low sexual desire was associated with having a sexual partner (prevalence ratio, [PR], 0.69) and nervousness (PR, 1.33). Low sexual arousal was correlated to aging (PR, 1.04), having a sexual partner (PR, 0.57), feeling well/excellent (PR, 0.59), and hot flashes (PR, 1.47). Low sexual orgasmic function was correlated to having a sexual partner (PR, 0.55), feeling well/excellent (PR, 0.68), and hot flashes (PR, 2.08). Frequency of sexual activity of once a week or less was correlated with having a sexual partner (PR, 0.47), feeling well/excellent (PR, 0.78), and hot flashes (PR, 1.15).
"In this sample of middle-aged women, low sexual desire was the most prevalent sexual problem. These results highlight the importance of identifying and treating factors associated with each individual component of low female sexual function," the authors write.