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Study: Sexual Satisfaction More About Psychology and Less About Biology

Posted by Chrissie Cole
Tuesday, September 09, 2008 12:00 AM EST
Category: Major Medical
Tags: FDA & Prescription Drugs, Cervical Cancer, Testosterone, Sexual Activity, Women's Health


IMAGE SOURCE: © iStockphoto / couple in love / author: akurtz

A new study by U.S. researchers suggests sexual satisfaction is about more than sex hormones – what occurs in the brain may be even more important.

Surgical treatment to remove cervical cancer often involves ovary removal, which eliminates or reduces testosterone, a key hormone in female sexuality, said researchers Howard P. Greenwald of the University of Southern California and Ruth McCorkle of Yale University.

Cervical cancer is the most common form of diagnosed cancer in younger women and the second most common in all women. The human papilloma virus, a sexually transmitted disease, is often a precursor to cervical cancer.

“The presence of sexual interest and satisfaction in the absence of a crucial hormone emphasizes the importance of non-hormonal components of sexual desire and satisfaction, Greenwald said. “The findings suggest that the key to sexual satisfaction is less about biology and more about psychology.”

Women often struggle with sex and identity following cervical cancer treatment. The study, published in the Journal of Women’s Health, found most women’s sexual desires and enjoyment resurfaced after six years.

For the study, researchers interviewed 179 women - all long-term survivors of cervical cancer - ranging from six to 28 years after surgical treatment.

When asked, one-third of the women agreed that cervical cancer had negatively impacted their relationships, while two-thirds felt the disease had not hindered their relationships.

Overall, most women reported being sexually active with an enjoyable sex life.

“The study findings are particularly interesting because the public tends to place so much importance on hormones in sex and the drug industry on a new generation of hormone-based medications aimed at female sexuality,” said Greenwald in a statement. “A person’s attitude, relationships and various other factors are just as important, if not more so.” #

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