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J Sex Med. 2010 Jun;7(6):2139-2148. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2010.01742.x. Epub 2010 Apr 12.

Prevalence of sexual dysfunction and impact of contraception in female German medical students.

Author information

Dept. of OB/GYN, University Hospital Tuebingen, University of Tuebingen, Tuebingen, Germany.
Dept. of Gynecological Endocrinology and Reproductive Medicine, University Hospital Heidelberg, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany. Electronic address:
Dept. of OB/GYN, University Hospital Basel, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.
Dept. of OB/GYN, University Hospital Heidelberg, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.



Female sexual dysfunction (FSD) is a very common disorder, with an estimated prevalence of having at least one sexual dysfunction of about 40%.


To investigate the prevalence and types of FSD and the relationship between hormonal contraception (HC) and FSD in female German medical students.


Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) with additional questions on contraception, sexual activity, and other factors that may influence sexual function.


An online questionnaire based on the FSFI was completed by students from six medical schools. Obtained data were screened for inconsistencies by programmed algorithms.


A total of 1,219 completed questionnaires were received, and 1,086 were included in the analyses after screening. The mean total FSFI score was 28.6 +/- 4.5. 32.4% of women were at risk for FSD according to FSFI definitions. Based on domain scores, 8.7% for were at risk for FSD concerning orgasm, 5.8% for desire, 2.6% for satisfaction, 1.2% for lubrication, 1.1% for pain and 1.0% for arousal. The method of contraception and smoking were factors with significant effect on the total FSFI score whereby hormonal contraception was associated with lower total FSFI scores and lower desire and arousal scores than no contraception and non-hormonal contraception only. Other variables such as stress, pregnancy, smoking, relationship and wish for children had an important impact on sexual function as expected according to earlier studies.


The prevalence of students at high risk for FSD was consistent with the literature although domain subscores differed from samples previously described. The contraception method has a significant effect on the sexual functioning score and women using contraception, especially hormonal contraception, had lower sexual functioning scores. Stress and relationship among other variables were found to be associated with sexual function and may thus provide insight into the etiology of sexual disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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