Introduction: The extent to which low sexual function or sexual dissatisfaction in women impacts on well-being remains uncertain, yet this is a critical issue in the controversy as to the benefits of pharmacotherapy for women seeking treatment for female sexual dysfunction. Aim. To explore the relationship between well-being and self-perceived satisfaction with sexual function in women and to determine if there is an independent effect of menopausal status or age.
Design: A community-based cross-sectional study.
Patients: A total of 421 women, aged 18 to 65 years were recruited from the community. Women were required to self-identify at study outset as being either satisfied or dissatisfied with their sexual life and be premenopausal or postmenopausal.
Main outcome measures: Scores from the Psychological General Well-Being Index (PGWB), the Beck Depression Index (BDI) and a daily diary of sexual function.
Results: A group of 349 women were included in the analysis. Total PGWB and domain scores of positive well-being and vitality were lower in dissatisfied women compared to satisfied women. PGWB total and domain scores of depressed mood, positive well-being and vitality were higher in older women. Menopause did not have an independent effect on well-being.
Conclusions: Women who self-identify as having sexual dissatisfaction have lower psychological general well-being. These findings reinforce the importance of addressing sexual health and well-being in women as an essential component of their health care.