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Papers of the Week

2020 Feb

Sex Health



Analysis of low sexual desire in Chinese women: a national population-based epidemiological survey in mainland China.


Tong J, Zhang C, Zhang L, Xu T, Lang J, Zhu L
Sex Health. 2020 Feb; 17(1):61-68.
PMID: 31945308.


Low sexual desire is the most prevalent female sexual health problem; however, national epidemiologic data on female sexual desire in China are absent. Understanding factors related to low sexual desire are essential in preparing educational and consultative programs and policies to improve women's sexual health. A national epidemiological survey on female sexual function was conducted from February 2014 to January 2016 in mainland China. Women were randomly selected using multistage, stratified, cluster sampling. The sexual functioning was assessed by using the Chinese version of the 19-item Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) questionnaire. The questionnaire on sexual dysfunction was completed by 25446 women who were aged 20-70 years. The prevalence of low sexual desire was 21.6% (domain score ≤4.28), and the declines in sexual desire started as early as 25-29 years. Sexual arousal was most closely related to sexual desire (Pearson's correlation = 0.760). Higher educational attainment was associated with a decreased risk of low sexual desire. Diabetes, non-gynaecological cancer, pelvic inflammatory disease and pelvic pain had negative effects on sexual desire (OR = 1.44, 99% CI = 1.11-1.87; OR = 1.92, 99% CI = 1.18-3.13; OR = 1.32, 99% CI = 1.07-1.63; OR = 1.77, 99% CI = 1.13-2.76 respectively). The prevalence of low sexual desire in females in China was modest. Low sexual desire is correlated with sexual arousal disorder. Biopsychosocial factors have overlapping effects on sexual desire.