Diet And Female Sexual Health.
Published 2019 · Medicine
INTRODUCTION Female sexual dysfunction is common, and there is growing interest in the relationship between everyday dietary habits and female sexuality. Most of the research at this point is focused on pathological states such as metabolic syndrome, obesity, and eating disorders, which seem to exacerbate sexual dysfunction. AIM To characterize sexual dysfunction in the presence of comorbidities including metabolic syndrome, obesity, and disordered eating states and to examine the effect of dietary patterns on female sexuality. METHODS A comprehensive review of peer-reviewed publications on the topic was performed through a PubMed search. Key search terms and phrases included female sexual dysfunction, diet, dietary patterns, metabolic syndrome, obesity, Mediterranean diet, and eating disorders. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE The main outcome measures were female sexual function scores as measured on the Female Sexual Function Index and domain-specific dysfunctions. RESULTS Metabolic syndrome negatively affects sexual function in women, and this effect is most pronounced in younger, premenopausal women. Obesity may also detract from female sexuality, but the data on this comorbidity are more mixed. Endothelial dysfunction, which can result from excess inflammation seen in metabolic syndrome and obesity, can lead to poor blood flow to genitourinary organs, thus providing a pathophysiological link between these diseases and sexual dysfunction. Patients with disordered eating also suffer from sexual morbidity, which may be due to comorbid psychiatric illness and emaciation-induced hypogonadism. Promising data show that the Mediterranean diet helps alleviate sexual dysfunction in women, but other dietary patterns require more formal investigation. CONCLUSION Incorporation of healthy dietary patterns into everyday life may positively influence female sexuality, but more substantial data are needed to confirm this idea. Towe M, La J, El-Khatib F, et al. Diet and Female Sexual Health. Sex Med Rev 2019; XX:XXX-XXX.