Women with bipolar disorder have high rate of sexual distress
Overall, 54% of women with bipolar disorder reported sexual distress and 39% were not satisfied with their sexual life.
Women with bipolar disorder have a high prevalence of sexual distress, and their sexual function is closely associated with their mood symptoms and perception of quality of life (QoL), according to a study published in the International Journal of Bipolar Disorders.
Thea Sørensen, from the Psychiatric Centre Copenhagen at Copenhagen University Hospital, and colleagues conducted a questionnaire survey in an outpatient cohort of women with bipolar disorder to investigate sexual dysfunction, sexual distress, general sexual satisfaction, and QoL; explore whether sexual distress was related to bipolar disorder symptoms; and investigate whether QoL was associated with sexual distress.
The survey contained information from the Changes in Sexual Functioning Questionnaire, Female Sexual Distress Scale, Altman Self-Rating Mania Scale (ASRM), Major Depression Inventory (MDI), and The World Health Organization Quality of Life-Brief.
In total, 85 women (aged 18 to 70 years) were asked to participate; 14 did not answer the questionnaires (response rate, 83.5%), 8 were not diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and 2 did not fully complete the questionnaires, leaving 61 participants (72% included). Overall, 54% (n = 33) reported sexual distress, and 39% (n = 24) were not satisfied with their sexual life. Women with bipolar disorder were significantly more sexually distressed in comparison with the control group, but they did not have a higher prevalence of impaired sexual function.
Better sexual function was positively associated with ASRM scores, while MDI scores were associated with more distress. The group of non-sexually distressed women with bipolar disorder reported higher QoL scores compared with the sexually distressed group.
- Sørensen T, Giraldi A, Vinberg M. Sexual distress and quality of life among women with bipolar disorder. Int J Bipolar Disord. 6 June 2017. doi: 10.1186/s40345-017-0098-0