Sexual distress and quality of life among women with bipolar disorder

Abstract

Abstract Background Information on the association between bipolar disorder (BD), sexual satisfaction, sexual function, sexual distress and quality of life (QoL) is sparse. This study aims, in women with BD, to (i) investigate sexual dysfunction, sexual distress, general sexual satisfaction and QoL; (ii) explore whether sexual distress was related to affective symptoms and (iii) investigate whether QoL was associated with sexual distress. The study is a questionnaire survey in an outpatient cohort of women with BD using: Changes in Sexual Functioning Questionnaire, Female Sexual Distress Scale, Altman Self-Rating Mania Scale (ASRM), Major Depression Inventory (MDI) and The World Health Organisation Quality of Life-Brief. Results In total, 61 women (age range 19–63, mean 33.7 years) were recruited. Overall, 54% reported sexual distress (n = 33) and 39% were not satisfied with their sexual life (n = 24). Women with BD were significantly more sexually distressed in comparison with Danish women from the background population but they did not have a higher prevalence of impaired sexual function. Better sexual function was positively associated with ASRM scores while MDI scores were associated with more distress. Finally, the group of non-sexually distressed women with BD reported higher QoL scores compared with the sexually distressed group. Conclusions Women with BD exhibited a high prevalence of sexual distress and their sexual function seemed associated with their actual mood symptoms and perception of QoL

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