The effect of body mass index on the sexual functions of morbidly obese female patients
Lale Gonenir Erbay, Mustafa Ozlu, Ibrahim Sahin, Bahri Evren, Cuneyt Kayaalp, Rifat Karlidag
Article No: 8   Article Type :  Brief Report
Objective: The aim of this study is to investigate whether morbidly obese female patients are suffering sexual dysfunction, in addition to analyzing the effect of body mass index (BMI) on sexual functions.

Method: A total of 72 morbidly obese women admitted to the Endocrinology Department, whose BMI scores were 40 or over, and 28 healthy women age-matched with the morbidly obese group, whose BMI scores were under 30 were included in this study. Considering the effects on sexual functioning, the patients and the control group were evaluated by a psychiatric specialist. women with a psychiatric disorder according to DSM-5, taking medicines that could affect sexual functions, and those with a chronic physical or any neurological disease or being pregnant or breastfeeding were excluded from the study. A sociodemographic data form and the Arizona Sexual Experiences Scale (ASEX) were administered to both the treatment and control group.

Results: Statistical analyses revealed that morbidly obese female patients more frequently suffered from sexual dysfunction compared to the control group. The Arizona Sexual Experiences Scale (ASEX) and all subscale scores except the sexual satisfaction rate were significantly higher in morbidly obese female patients than in the control group. There was no correlation found between the BMI and sexual function in the analyses conducted.

Conclusion: In our study, morbidly obese female patients were found to show more impairments in all areas of sexual functions except sexual satisfaction rate when compared to the control group. Previous studies have suggested that obesity is the cause of sexual dysfunction in men; however, the same relationship could not be demonstrated in women. In a limited study of female patients, conflicting results were attributed to the inability to control variables. The fact that variables such as depression, anxiety, and chronic physical illness, which may affect sexual function, had been assessed in our study is important for accurately interpreting the findings. The data in our study reveals the importance of investigating sexual functions in morbidly obese female patients.
Keywords : Arizona Sexual Experiences Scale, morbid obesity, sexual dysfunctions
Dusunen Adam The Journal of Psychiatry and Neurological Sciences 2017;30:338-343
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