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Sexual function in women with hypothalamo-pituitary disorders

Abstract

The extent to which hypothalamo-pituitary disorders in women affect sexual desire and sexual functions was investigated. Sexual functions and sexual appreciation were assessed in a comprehensive interview of 48 women with well-defined hypothalamo-pituitary disorders. Data about sex life were correlated to blood hormone levels and diagnosis. In most of the women (64.8%), the first clinical symptom indicating a hypothalamo-pituitary dysfunction began in the age group 16 to 35. In 43 patients (89.6%), the initial symptom was menstrual irregularities. Altogether 45 (93.8%) of the women declared that they had or had had significant sexual problems. Two of the three women who did not report sexual problems had never had intercourse. Thirty-eight (79.2%) of the women had developed a lack of or a considerable decrease in sexual desire. Problems with lubrication or orgasm were reported by 31 (64.6%) and 33 (68.7%) of the women, respectively. Normal menstrual pattern, young age, and intrasellar tumor growth correlated better with normal sexual desire and sexual functions than did normal prolactin levels and normal testosterone levels. However, at the time of interview, only 7 women had hyperprolactinemia. Serum testosterone values correlated significantly only with masturbation.

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Correspondence to Birgitta Hulter R.N..

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Hulter, B., Lundberg, P.O. Sexual function in women with hypothalamo-pituitary disorders. Arch Sex Behav 23, 171–183 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01542097

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Key words

  • female sexuality
  • menstruation
  • hypothalamo-pituitary disorders
  • testosterone
  • prolactin