Bariatric Surgery Significantly Improves the Quality of Sexual Life and Self-esteem in Morbidly Obese Women

  • Faredj Cherick
  • Vanessa Te
  • Rodolphe Anty
  • Laurent Turchi
  • Michel Benoit
  • Luigi Schiavo
  • Antonio IannelliEmail author
Original Contributions



The impact of bariatric surgery (BS) on the sexual functioning of patients is poorly studied. Our aim was to analyze the sexual function, depressive symptoms, and self-esteem of morbidly obese women (MOW) undergoing BS.

Patients and Methods

Quality of sexual life was prospectively evaluated in 43 consecutive MOW (18–50 years) who underwent BS. Female sexual function index (FSFI), Beck depression inventory (BDI), and Rosenberg self-esteem scale (RSES) questionnaires were administered to evaluate sexual satisfaction, depressive symptoms, and self-esteem, respectively. A control group of 36 healthy, non-obese, female patients (HW) was recruited for comparison. Results of questionnaires were compared between three periods (before BS and at 3- and 6-month follow-up) and between MOW and HW.


Before BS, the FSFI score was significantly lower in MOW compared to HW (17 ± 12 vs 27 ± 8, p = 0.0001) while at 3- and 6-month post-BS, a significant amelioration (p = 0.01) occurred. In particular, after BS, all components of the FSFI score (sexual desire, excitement, lubrification, orgasm, satisfaction, and pain) were ameliorated. The pre-BS BDI score was higher in MOW than in HW (8 ± 6 vs 5 ± 5, p = 0.004) while at postoperative months 3 and 6, a significant amelioration was found (p = 0.025 and 0.005, respectively). Before BS, no significant differences occurred in the RSES score between MOW and HW (30 ± 7 vs 32 ± 6, p = 0.014), whereas the MOW RSES scores at 6-month post-BS were improved when compared with the HW RSES scores.


BS results in a significant improvement in the quality of sexual life, depressive symptoms, and self-esteem in MOW.


Bariatric surgery Sleeve gastrectomy Gastric bypass Sexual functioning Obesity Quality of life 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Informed Consent

Written informed consent was obtained for each individual participant included in the study.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychiatry-Clinical Neuroscience DepartmentPasteur HospitalNiceFrance
  2. 2.Hôpital de l’Archet, Digestive CenterCentre Hospitalier Universitaire de NiceNiceFrance
  3. 3.U1065, C3M, Team 8 “Hepatic complications in obesity and alcoholism”INSERMNiceFrance
  4. 4.Université Côte d’AzurNiceFrance
  5. 5.Inserm U1091 - CNRS UMR7277Institut de Biologie ValroseNiceFrance
  6. 6.Center of Excellence of Bariatric Surgery of the Italian Society of Obesity Surgery and Metabolic Disease (SICOB), Unit of General and Emergency SurgeryUniversity Hospital San Giovanni di Dio e Ruggi d’AragonaSalernoItaly

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