Associations of desire for change in sexual life amongst female medical students in North America

Alan W Shindel, B. N. Breyer, J. F. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We analyzed associations of dissatisfaction with sexual life and desire for change in female medical students. Students enrolled in medical schools in North America between February and July 2008 were invited to participate in an internet-based survey of sexual function. The principle outcome measure was a single item question on sexual life satisfaction and desire for change. Women who reported dissatisfaction and desire for change were classified as 'sexually bothered'. The survey also assessed ethnodemographic factors, student status, sexual history and depressive symptoms. Respondents completed the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) and the Index of Sexual Life. Descriptive statistics, analysis of variance and multivariable logistic regression were utilized to analyze responses. There were 661 non-virgin female subjects with data adequate for analysis. Whereas 281 (43%) of these met criteria for high risk of female sexual dysfunction (HRFSD) based on FSFI scoring, just 173 (26%) reported sexual bother. Among women with HRFSD, 126 (45%) reported sexual bother; in women without HRFSD, 362 (95%) were not sexually bothered. Interference in sexual life from tiredness and stress were associated with sexual bother. Progressively better scores on the FSFI desire, orgasm and satisfaction domains were significantly associated with lower odds of sexual bother. Few women in this cohort with FSFI score >26.55 reported sexual bother. Women with FSFI <26.55 had greater odds of sexual bother but this criterion alone was not pathognomonic for sexual concerns. Issues of sexual desire and orgasm appear to have a more important role than lubrication, arousal and sexual pain issues in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-79
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Impotence Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • depression
  • female
  • female sexual dysfunction
  • female sexual function
  • medical students
  • sexual distress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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