Steroid hormones, the menopause, sexuality and well-being of women

Psychol Med. 1996 Sep;26(5):925-36. doi: 10.1017/s0033291700035261.


One hundred and forty-one women, aged 40-60 years, recruited from the community were assessed with an initial interview, plus four interviews at intervals of 1 week and blood samples. The objective was to investigate the determinants of sexuality and well-being in this sample. Measures included interview ratings of sexual function, Frenken Sexual Experience Scales and the Multiple Affect Adjective Check List. Determinants evaluated, using multiple regression analysis, included age, menopausal status, BMI, smoking, ovarian steroids and adrenal androgens. None of the hormonal parameters significantly predicted measures of sexuality; the most important predictors were other aspects of the sexual relationship, sexual attitudes and measures of well-being. The best predictor of both well-being and depression was tiredness. The only hormone positively related to well-being was dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA).

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect / physiology
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Climacteric / physiology
  • Climacteric / psychology
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone / blood
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone / physiology
  • Depression / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones / blood
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Menopause / physiology*
  • Menopause / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sampling Studies
  • Sexuality / physiology*
  • Sexuality / psychology*
  • Steroids / blood
  • Steroids / physiology*
  • Women's Health*


  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones
  • Steroids
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone