Academic journal article Journal of Health Population and Nutrition

Sexual Dysfunction among Female Patients of Reproductive Age in a Hospital Setting in Nigeria

Academic journal article Journal of Health Population and Nutrition

Sexual Dysfunction among Female Patients of Reproductive Age in a Hospital Setting in Nigeria

Article excerpt


Sexual dysfunction is a group of disorders associated with desire, arousal, orgasm, and painful sex (dyspareunia and vaginismus) (1). Sexual intercourse is as old as humanity itself and is necessary for the propagation of the species. Sexual intercourse is not only influenced by the integrity of the genital tract but also by the limbic system and spinal arousal centres (2-3). A large component of sexual desire in women is responsive rather than spontaneous. Therefore, motivation and ability of women to find and respond to sexual arousal and subsequent sexual desire is crucial, but complex. In ongoing relationships, motivation of a woman appears to be largely influenced by her intimacy with her partner and her wish to enhance it. It correlates well with how mentally-exciting she finds the sexual stimulus and its context and poorly with objective genital blood flow changes (4-7).

Epidemiological investigations of women with sexual dysfunction from well-designed randomly-sampled community-based population are limited. Available information shows that female sexual dysfunction is com mon and occurs in 22-43% of women (4) and 30-50% of American women (5-6). The prevalence rates in Africa, especially in Nigeria, are either non-existent or scarce. The aetiology of sexual dysfunction is varied and results from a complex interaction of biological, psychological and social factors (7). Psychological causes may include anger, depression, anxiety, ignorance, or deeper psychological conflicts. Interpersonal factors involve conflicts with the partner or an inability to establish interpersonal relationship or divorce. Physical causes include illness (for instance breast cancers, infertility), injury, or drugs (for instance sedative drugs). Sexual function can also be strongly influenced by one's own sense of self and social competence, level of education, vaginal atrophy associated with declining oestrogen levels at menopause, or relative vaginal dryness in early postpartum period (8-17).

Sexual dysfunction severely affects the quality of life of patients, but studies in Nigeria are scarce. This study was, therefore, conducted to determine the prevalence of sexual dysfunction and their correlates among female patients of reproductive age at Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.


This is a cross-sectional survey of female patients of reproductive age attending the gynaecological, medical, surgical, psychiatric and general out-patient clinics at Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile-Ife. Patients were all educated on the sensitive nature of the study, and only consenting women were recruited into the study.

The sample size for the study was calculated using the formula below according to Araoye (18), assuming the prevalence rate of 50% for sexual dysfunction in

this environment: n=[Z.sup.2](1-p)p/[d.sup.2]

where n=minimum sample size

z=standard normal variance=1.96 at 95% confidence interval

d=Absolute standard error=0.05


Using the above formula, the calculated sample size was approximately 384. Three hundred and eighty four clients were, therefore, recruited.

A set of pretested structured questionnaire, designed by the authors, was used for collecting information. The questionnaire contained both open- and close-ended questions. The interviewers were final-year female students who had been properly trained on the sensitive nature of the study. There was no inducement to patients to participate in the study, and there was no denial or punishment for refusal to participate. Only those who gave consent after detailed counselling were recruited. These patients were also told that the investigation is entirely for research purposes. The name, hospital number, and addresses of the patient were not recorded to ensure confidentiality of information given. …

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