Boehringer Ingelheim

Largest Study of its Kind Reveals Low Sexual Desire is Most Common Female Sexual Problem

    Ingelheim, Germany (ots/PRNewswire) -

    - 1 in 10 Women Experience Distress Associated With the Most Common Form  of Female Sexual Dysfunction, yet the Condition Remains Largely  Under-Recognised and Under-Diagnosed

    - For non-US media only

    Results from the PRESIDE*(1) survey, the largest study assessing the prevalence of female sexual problems, show that low sexual desire is the most commonly reported sexual problem in women aged 18 or older(1). In the new survey of more than 31,000 women, published today in Obstetrics & Gynecology (the Green Journal), nearly one in 10 women said they experience low desire with sexually-related personal distress, a condition that is medically referred to as Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD)(1).

    HSDD, is defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) of the American Psychiatric Association, as diminished feelings of sexual interest or desire, absent sexual thoughts or fantasies and lack of responsive desire that causes marked distress or interpersonal difficulties and is not caused by a medical condition or drug(2). HSDD is a medical condition that remains largely under-diagnosed(3).

    "Physicians who diagnose and treat women with sexual problems should make sure to evaluate the patient's level of distress associated with her problem," said Jan L. Shifren, M.D., the leading author and director of The Menopause Programme, Vincent Obstetrics and Gynaecology Service at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. "As distressing sexual problems were identified in approximately one in eight women, health care providers need to ask their patients about sexual concerns and whether they are causing unhappiness, frustration or other distressing feelings that may be impacting their quality of life."

    PRESIDE Results

    In the PRESIDE survey, 44.2% of women reported experiencing a sexual problem of some kind(1). Low desire was most common, reported in 38.7% of the respondents(1); low arousal (26.1%) and orgasm difficulty (20.5%) were less frequent(1). Of all the women surveyed, 22.8% said they had sexually-related personal distress(1).

    Low desire was the most common distressing sexual problem, affecting 10% of respondents. It is twice as common as distress associated with arousal (5.4%) or orgasm problems (4.7%)(1). Low desire with associated distress was prevalent in women of all ages but particularly pronounced in mid-life(1).

    About PRESIDE

    PRESIDE (Prevalence of Female Sexual Problems Associated with Distress  and Determinants of Treatment Seeking) is a cross-sectional,  population-based, nationally-representative survey of 31,581 adult women  in the United States(1).

    As female sexual dysfunction is characterised by sexual problems associated with personal distress, two validated instruments were used. The Changes in Sexual Functioning Questionnaire (CSFQ-14), a 14-item validated tool, was used to capture a respondent's self-evaluation of current sexual behaviors and problems using a five-point scale(1). The Female Sexual  Distress Scale (FSDS), a 12-item validated tool, measures a woman's distress  about her sex life, assesses guilt, frustration, stress, worry, anger, embarrassment, and unhappiness during the past 30 days(1).

    About DSM-IV

    The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, defines HSDD as the persistent lack (or absence) of sexual fantasies or desire for any form of sexual activity marked by distress or interpersonal difficulty and not better accounted for by another disorder (except another sexual dysfunction), direct physiological effects of a substance (including medications) or a general medical condition(2).

    About Boehringer Ingelheim

    The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world's 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 135 affiliates in 47 countries and 39,800 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel products of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.

    In 2007, Boehringer Ingelheim posted net sales of 10.9 billion Euros while spending one-fifth of net sales in its largest business segment Prescription Medicines on research and development.

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    * (Prevalence of Female Sexual Problems Associated with Distress and  Determinants of Treatment Seeking)

    Please be advised

    This release is from Boehringer Ingelheim Corporate Headquarters in Germany. Please be aware that there may be national differences between countries regarding specific medical information, including licensed uses. Please take account of this when referring to the information provided in this document. This press release is not intended for distribution within the USA.

INGELHEIM, Germany, October 31 /PRNewswire/ --


    * Prevalence of Female Sexual Problems Associated with Distress and Determinants of Treatment Seeking.

    1. Shifren, JL et al. Sexual Problems and Distress in United States Women: Prevalence and Correlates. Obstet Gynecol 2008; 112(5)

    2. Sexual and gender identity disorders. In: American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 4th Ed. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association; 2000:493-538

    3. Bachmann G. Female sexuality and sexual dysfunction: are we stuck on the learning curve? J Sex Med. 2006 Jul;3(4):639-45.

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Communications, Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH, Tel.: +49-6132-77-8271,

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