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Sexual pleasure in women with obsessive-compulsive disorder?

Author(s): Vulink NC, Denys D, Bus L, Westenberg HG

Affiliation(s): The Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience, Department of Psychiatry, University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU), B.01.206, P.O. Box 85500, 3508 GA Utrecht, The Netherlands. N.C.C.vulink@azu.nl

Publication date & source: 2006-03, J Affect Disord., 91(1):19-25. Epub 2006 Jan 24.

Publication type: Comparative Study

BACKGROUND: Although patients with OCD have reported sexual dissatisfaction frequently, controlled studies are sparse. This study compared subjective appreciation of sexuality and sexual functioning between OCD patients and healthy subjects and controlled for the influence of medication or OCD subtypes on sexual functioning and satisfaction. METHODS: Self-report questionnaires were sent to 350 female outpatients with OCD and 101 questionnaires were completed. RESULTS: OCD patients reported significantly more sexual disgust (t = 4.48, p < 0.001), less sexual desire (t = 5.52, p < 0.001), sexual arousal (t = 4.28, p < 0.001), and satisfying orgasms (t = 4.94, p < 0.001), than controls. Neither medication nor OCD phenotypes did affect outcome. LIMITATIONS: A self-report questionnaire and relatively low response-rate (29%) could have biased the results and the sample was limited to women so results might not be generalisable to men. CONCLUSIONS: Female patients with OCD report low sexual pleasure, high sexual disgust and diminished sexual functioning, which are not only attributed to medication or contamination obsessions. In the future, clinicians should explicitly ask for sexual function in the assessment of patients with OCD.

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