The prevalence of sexual dysfunction and potential risk factors that may impair sexual function in Malaysian women

J Sex Med. 2007 Mar;4(2):311-21. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2006.00319.x. Epub 2006 Oct 13.


Introduction: Female sexual dysfunction (FSD) is a prevalent sexual health problem that does not spare the women in Malaysia, a nation with a conservative multiethnic society.

Aim: To investigate the prevalence of FSD and the potential risk factors that may impair sexual function among women at a primary care setting in Malaysia.

Main outcome measure: The prevalence, the risk factors, and the main predictors for FSD were measured among these women.

Methods: A validated Malay version of the Female Sexual Function Index was used to assess FSD. A total of 230 married women aged 18-70 years participated in this study. The sociodemographic and marital profiles of women who had FSD and those who did not were compared; the risk factors for FSD were determined.

Results: The majority of the respondents were younger than 50 years old, predominantly Malays, and had a higher academic achievement. The prevalence of FSD in the primary care population was 29.6%. The prevalence of women with lack of orgasms, low sexual arousal, lack of lubrication, sexual dissatisfaction, and sexual pain were 59.1%, 60.9%, 50.4%, 52.2%, and 67.8%, respectively.

Conclusion: The risk factors for FSD are older age, Malays, married longer (more than 14 years), having less sexual intercourse (less than 1-2 times a week), having more children, married to an older husband (aged >42 years), and having a higher academic status. Lack of lubrication is found to be the main predictor for FSD in this study. Is lack of lubrication a cause or a complication of FSD? Prospective research is needed in the near future.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Comorbidity
  • Dyspareunia / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Libido
  • Malaysia / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Orgasm
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology
  • Sexual Behavior / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / diagnosis
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / epidemiology*
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / diagnosis
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / epidemiology*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Women's Health Services / organization & administration
  • Women's Health*