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Obes Surg. 2001 Aug;11(4):455-8.

Partnership, sexuality, and sexual disorders in morbidly obese women: consequences of weight loss after gastric banding.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital Innsbruck, Anichstrasse 35, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria.



A study was performed to determine what consequences surgery for morbid obesity has on sexual attitudes and partnership in obese female patients.


Semi-structured interviews concerning sociodemographic data, sexuality and relationship were conducted on 82 female patients preoperatively and at least 1 year postoperatively.


Physical appearance played the main role in the decision to undergo weight reduction surgery in only 17% of the study patients. Postoperatively, half of the patients were satisfied with their physical appearance 1 year after surgery, the other half not. Preoperatively, 44% of the patients stated that sexuality with their partners was satisfying and the frequency of sexual intercourse was regular. Postoperatively, 63% of the patients stated that they enjoyed sex more, compared with 12% of the patients who enjoyed sex less than before surgery. Postoperatively, 20% of the patients reported that partnership had changed positively, 10% negatively.


The results indicate that many of the sexual problems in obese individuals are the result of an underlying lack of self-esteem, unsatisfactory relationships, or collective stigmatization of obese individuals. Binge eating, often found in morbidly obese patients, seems to be less the result of or compensation for sexual problems but is more likely to stem from other psychosocial or psychological problems.

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