Regular moderate intake of red wine is linked to a better women's sexual health

J Sex Med. 2009 Oct;6(10):2772-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2009.01393.x. Epub 2009 Jul 21.


Introduction: While some evidence does exist for a positive correlation between moderate wine intake and men's sexual health, there is no study addressing the potential correlation between red wine intake and women's sexual function.

Aim: The aim of our study was to assess whether there is a tie between daily red wine intake and sexual function in a sample of healthy Italian women, living in the Chianti area (Tuscany) not complaining of any sexual disorders.

Methods: We recruited 798 women (age 18-50), living in the Chianti area (Tuscany), not complaining of any sexual disorders. We divided the participants into three groups: daily moderate (one to two glasses) red wine intake (group 1); teetotallers (group 2); and daily intake of more than two glasses of red wine and/or other types of alcoholic drinks (including white wine), as well as of those reporting occasional drinking (group 3).

Main outcome measures: All participants completed anonymously the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) questionnaire and were asked to report on their amount and type of alcohol consumption.

Results: Group 1 had significantly higher total (P = 0.001), as well as desire and lubrication domain (P = 0.001 and P = 0.001, respectively) FSFI scores than participants in groups 2 and 3. No significant differences between the groups were observed concerning sexual arousal, satisfaction, pain, and orgasm. Univariate analysis showed a significant correlation between age, alcohol consumption (P = 0.009), and a better score at questionnaire examination. During multivariate analysis, alcohol consumption was identified as an independent prognostic parameter (P = 0.002) in predicting the better score at questionnaire examination.

Conclusions: The finding that regular moderate intake of red wine is associated with higher FSFI scores for both sexual desire, lubrication, and overall sexual function as compared to the teetotaller status is intriguing. While this finding needs to be interpreted with some caution, because of the small sample size, self-reported data, and the lack of support from laboratory exams, it nevertheless suggests a potential relationship between red wine consumption and better sexuality.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Arousal / drug effects*
  • Diet, Mediterranean
  • Endothelium, Vascular / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology*
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Phenols / pharmacology*
  • Polyphenols
  • Sexuality / drug effects*
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vagina / drug effects
  • Wine*
  • Women's Health
  • Young Adult


  • Flavonoids
  • Phenols
  • Polyphenols