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Association of low sexual desire with current sexual behavior, self-concept as well as comorbidities and lifestyle factors

Goethe, V1; Schroeter, L1; Koehn, FM2; Kron, M3; Schulwitz, HS1; Zitzmann, M4; Arsov, C5; Hadaschik, BA6; Imkamp, F7; Gschwend, JE1; Herkommer, K1

1: Department of Urology, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany; 2: Andrologicum Munich, Munich, Germany; 3: Institute for Epidemiology and Medical Biometry, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany ; 4: Centre of Reproductive Medicine and Andrology, University Hospital Muenster, Westfaelische Wilhelms-University, Muenster, Germany; 5: Department of Urology, University Hospital Dusseldorf, Heinrich-Heine-University, Dusseldorf, Germany; 6: Department of Urology, Heidelberg University Hospital, Ruprecht-Karls-University, Heidelberg, Germany; 7: Clinic for Urology and Urologic Oncology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany

Objectives: Low sexual desire is one of the most common sexual dysfunctions in men along with erectile dysfunction (ED) and orgasmic/ejaculatory disorders. Comorbidities and lifestyle factors such as diabetes and obesity have been found to be important risk factors. Aim of present study was to survey the prevalence of low sexual desire in a community-based sample of 45-year old men and to analyze the association with various risk factors (sociodemographic, lifestyle, self-concept, sexual behavior, comorbidities).

Material and Methods: Between April 2014 and April 2016 a community-based sample of 45-year old men was enrolled in the German Male Sex-Study (GMS-Study). At first presentation in one of the four study centers men were asked to fill out questionnaires assessing sociodemographic, lifestyle and psychological factors as well as factors relating sexuality. To assess sexual desire men were asked how often they had felt the desire to be sexually active during the past 4 weeks. Low sexual desire was defined as rarely and very rarely. For inquiry of comorbidities, current medication and assessment of obesity, an anamnesis interview and a short physical examination were performed by a study physician. Included were Caucasian men without use of 5-alpha-reductase-inhibitors or antidepressants. Data was analyzed using chi square test.

Results: Of the final study cohort of 10,962 men, 4.7% fit the criteria for low sexual desire. Associated sociodemographic factors were being in a long-lasting partnership, having children and unemployment (p<0.001). Low physical activity was also significantly associated with low sexual desire (p<0.001). Furthermore, men with a higher perception of social pressure, with lower sexual self-esteem and men with a worse body-image were significantly more likely to report on low sexual desire (p<0.001). Comorbidities associated with low sexual desire were benign prostate syndrome, hypertension, ED and premature ejaculation (p<0.001).

Conclusion: With 4.7%, low sexual desire is a common sexual dysfunction in 45-year old German men. Besides well-established risk factors (e.g. comorbidities, lifestyle), we were able to show that psychological factors such as low sexual self-esteem or high perception of social pressure can play an equally important role.


Work supported by industry: no.

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