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J Affect Disord. 2011 Jun;131(1-3):364-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2010.11.010. Epub 2010 Dec 4.

Sexual behavior in women with bipolar disorder.

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  • 1Department of Neurosciences, Institute of Psychiatry and Psychology, Bipolar Disorders Unit, Catholic University of Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy. marianna.mazza@rm.unicatt.it

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

There is a lack of studies regarding sexuality and sexual behavior in women with bipolar disorder. The aim of this study is to investigate sexual behavior in women affected by bipolar disorder in order to stimulate interest and debate in this area of care.

METHODS:

Sixty women (30 BD I and 30 BD II) consent to participate in the study and were included in the sample. Moreover, sixty female healthy subjects without histories of psychiatric disorders were recruited as normal controls. Patients and healthy subjects were given the Sexual Interest and Sexual Performance Questionnaire, a questionnaire devised to explore various aspects of sexual behavior.

RESULTS:

The results of the present study suggest an increase of sexual interest in patients with BD I as compared both with BD II patients and healthy controls. In women with BD I such increase of interest was detected on some items of section I of the Sexual Interest and Sexual Performance Questionnaire, in particular "Actual Value of Sexuality" and "Implicit Sexual Interest", which implicitly explore sexual interest without overtly focusing upon sexual problems. Moreover, we observed a higher desired frequency of intercourse in women with BD I than BD II and a higher occurrence of repeated sexual intercourse in women with BD I than BD II.

CONCLUSIONS:

The main finding of the present study was an increase of sexual interest in BD I as compared with BD II female patients and normal controls. This result was detected when sexual interest was explored implicitly. Our study is limited by the small size of our subject groups. Further investigations on larger subject samples are needed to better clarify particular aspects of sexual behavior of BD patients.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

PMID:
21130498
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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