PURPOSE: Female sexual dysfunction is vastly under-recognized but has been previously described in chronic disease states. Sexual dysfunction in male patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is well-described, but has not been previously reported in females. The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of sexual dysfunction in women with OSA.
METHODS: Sexual function of twenty one consecutive pre-menopausal women with OSA, referred to our sleep lab, and who had a positive study for sleep apnea (AHI > 5), were included. They were administered the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) questionnaire. This is a validated 19- item self report measure of six separate domains of female sexual function. Domains relate to the four major categories of sexual dysfunction (desire, arousal, orgasmic and sexual pain disorder), quality of vaginal lubrication, and global sexual and relationship satisfaction. Each domain is scored on a scale of 0 or 1 to 6, with higher scores indicating better function. The full FSFI score is obtained by adding the six domain scores. Scores of ≥ 30 were considered good and <23 poor. Participants were also asked to fill out a mood scale - Brief Mood Introspection Scale (BMIS) - a 16 point mood scale, which grades mood on a scale of 1 to 4 in 8 positive and 8 negative domains.
RESULTS: 11 women (52.4%) had FSFI score < 23. No differences in negative mood domains on the BMIS were seen between the group with poor FSFI scores and the others. Neither BMI nor AHI was seen to be significantly associated with poor sexual function –see table 1.
CONCLUSION: In our study, we have found that prevalence of sexual dysfunction is high in women with OSA. Poor sexual function was unrelated to negative mood.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Physicians should routinely screen and evaluate women with OSA for sexual dysfunction.
DISCLOSURE: Ashesh Desai, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information