Sexuality of alcoholic women with menstrual cycle function: Effects of duration of alcohol abstinence

J. S. Gavaler, A. Rizzo, Lorenzo Rossaro, D. H. Van Thiel, E. Brezza, S. R. Deal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Although improvement in sexual function has been reported to occur in postmenopausal alcoholic women after long-term sobriety, little is known about the role alcohol abstinence may play in terms of improving sexual functioning in alcoholic women with menstrual cycle function. The responses of 58 menstruating alcoholic Italian women to a standardized questionnaire that included questions related to sexual function, behavior, and performance are reported. Women were categorized as alcohol abstinent (AA) for >1 year (long AA, n = 22) or <1 year (short AA, n = 36). In both groups, 100% reported that they had a regular sexual partner, and the response rate to the sexuality questions was >99%. Compared with short AA women, long AA women were significantly older at the time of study, at menarche, and at onset of heavy drinking, alcohol dependence, and alcohol abstinence. Sexual desire was defined as willingness to engage in sexual activity; sexual capacity was defined as the ability to become sexually aroused; sexual responsiveness was defined as the ability to achieve orgasm. On all three measures, as well as intercourse frequency, both long AA and short AA women improved significantly with alcohol abstinence. These findings suggest that sobriety, even of relatively short duration, improves sexual function in menstruating alcoholic women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)778-781
Number of pages4
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology


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