Female sexual dysfunction in patients with spinal cord injury: a study from Iran.
OBJECTIVES: We assess the prevalence of sexual dysfunction in patients with spinal cord injury (SCI), compare sexual function and sexual distress between female patients with SCI and gender-matched healthy controls, and address risk factors associated with sexual dysfunction among Iranian female patients with SCI. SETTING: Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Research Center, Neuroscience Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. METHODS: Eligible Iranian female patients with SCI were included in this cross-sectional study. They were asked to provide sociodemographic information, and complete the Female Sexual Function Index, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and Female Sexual Distress Scale-Revised questionnaire. RESULTS: Of the 105 patients participated in this study, the average age was 41.0 (s.d.=10.1) years. Women with SCI reported significantly higher levels of sexual dysfunction compared with normal controls. Approximately, 88% of SCI patients reported at least one type of sexual dysfunction, whereas only 37% of healthy controls reported sexual dysfunction. Lack of vaginal lubrication was reported more frequent in SCI patients compared with controls. Women with SCI reported a significantly higher level of sexual distress compared with healthy women. Sexual dysfunction was observed to be significantly higher in older patients, those with less education, patients with complete lesions, those with sexual distress and patients who were anxious and depressed. CONCLUSION: Sexual dysfunction is highly prevalent among Iranian women with SCI. Sexual dysfunction is associated with age, education, symptoms of depression and anxiety and level of injury. Sexual counseling during the rehabilitation period may help to prevent sexual dysfunction following SCI.
Hajiaghababaei, M; Javidan, AN; Saberi, H; Khoei, EM; Khalifa, DA; Koenig, HG; Pakpour, AH
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