The relative effects of hormones and relationship factors on sexual function of women through the natural menopausal transition
ABSTRACT To investigate the relative effects of hormonal and relationship factors on female sexual function during the natural menopausal transition.
Prospective population-based questionnaire study.
Interviews were conducted in the patients' homes.
Four hundred thirty-eight Australian-born women aged 45-55 years who were still menstruating at baseline. Eight years of longitudinal data were available for 336 of these women, none of whom were hysterectomized.
Hormonal levels, age, menopausal status, partner status, and feelings for partner were measured and evaluated with longitudinal structural equation modeling.
Short personal experiences questionnaire.
Sexual response was predicted by prior level of sexual function, change in partner status, feelings for partner, and E2 level (R2 = .65); dyspareunia was predicted by prior level of dyspareunia and E2 level (R2 = .53); and frequency of sexual activities was predicted by prior level of sexual function, change in partner status, feelings for partner, and level of sexual response (R2 = .52). The minimum effective dose needed to increase sexual response by 10% (700 pmol/L E2) is twice that needed to decrease dyspareunia.
Prior function and relationship factors are more important than hormonal determinants of sexual function of women in midlife.
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ABSTRACT: Objective: To determine whether reproductive hormones are related to sexual function during the menopausal transition. Design: The Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN) is a multiethnic cohort study of the menopausal transition located at seven US sites. At baseline, the 3302 community-based participants, aged 42-52, had an intact uterus and at least one ovary and were not using exogenous hormones. Participants self-identified as White, Black, Hispanic, Chinese, or Japanese. At baseline and at each of the 10 follow-up visits, sexual function was assessed by self-administered questionnaires, and blood was drawn to assay serum levels of T, estradiol, FSH, SHBG, and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate. Main Outcome Measures: Self-reported frequency of masturbation, sexual desire, sexual arousal, orgasm, and pain during intercourse. Results: Masturbation, sexual desire, and arousal were positively associated with T. Masturbation, arousal, and orgasm were negatively associated with FSH. Associations were modest. Estradiol was not related to any measured sexual function domain. Pain with intercourse was not associated with any hormone. Conclusions: Reproductive hormones were associated with sexual function in midlife women. T was positively associated, supporting the role of androgens in female sexual function. FSH was negatively associated, supporting the role of menopausal status in female sexual function. The modest associations in this large study suggest that the relationships are subtle and may be of limited clinical significance.Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 11/2014; 100(1):jc20141725. DOI:10.1210/jc.2014-1725 · 6.31 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background: Women report many nonvasomotor symptoms across the menopausal transition, including sleep disturbances, depressed mood, and sexual problems. The co-occurrence of these three symptoms may represent a specific menopausal symptom triad. We sought to evaluate the interrelatedness of disturbed sleep, depressed mood, and sexual problems in the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN) and determine the characteristics of women exhibiting this symptom triad. Methods: SWAN is a multisite, multiethnic observational cohort study of the menopausal transition in the United States. Sleep disturbance, sexual problems, and depressed mood were determined based on self-report. Women who reported all three symptoms simultaneously were compared to those who did not. Logistic regression models estimated the association of demographic, psychosocial, and clinical characteristics with the symptom triad. Results: Study participants (n=1716) were 49.8 years old on average and primarily in very good or excellent health. Sixteen and a half percent had depressed mood, 36.6% had a sleep problem, and 42.2% had any sexual problem. Five percent of women (n=90) experienced all three symptoms. Women with the symptom triad compared with those without had lower household incomes, less education, were surgically postmenopausal or late perimenopausal, rated their general health as fair or poor, and had more stressful life events and lower social support. Conclusions: The symptom triad of sleep disturbance, depressed mood, and sexual problems occurred in only 5% of women, and occurred most often among women with lower socioeconomic status, greater psychosocial distress, and who were surgically menopausal or in the late perimenopause.Journal of Women's Health 01/2015; 24(2). DOI:10.1089/jwh.2014.4798 · 1.90 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of Trigonella foenum-graecum (fenugreek) seed extract on sex hormones and sexual function in healthy menstruating women who reported low sexual drive. This short term, single site, double blind, randomised, placebo-controlled study was conducted on 80 women, aged 20 to 49 years. Participants were randomised to either an oral dose of a standardised T. foenum-graecum seed extract (libifem) at a dose of 600 mg/day or placebo over two menstrual cycles. Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, progesterone, androstenedione, total and free testosterone, estradiol (E2), luteinizing hormone, follicle stimulating hormone, sex hormone binding globulin and cholesterol were measured at baseline and 8 weeks. The individual aspects of sexual function were measured using the Derogatis interview for sexual functioning and female sexual function index self-administered questionnaires. Stress, fatigue and quality of the relationship with partner were also measured using the PSS (Perceived Stress Scale), MFI-20 (Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory) and DAS (Dyadic Adjustment Scale) quality of life measures, respectively. There was a significant increase in free testosterone and E2 in the active group as well as sexual desire and arousal compared with the placebo group. The results indicate that this extract of T. foenum-graecum may be a useful treatment for increasing sexual arousal and desire in women. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.Phytotherapy Research 04/2015; DOI:10.1002/ptr.5355 · 2.40 Impact Factor