Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Obesity may harm your sexual health, study suggests

Date:
June 16, 2010
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Being obese impacts on sexual health, according to research. A new study reports that the rate of unplanned pregnancies is four times higher among single obese women than normal weight women, despite them being less likely to have been sexually active in the past year. Obese women are less likely to seek contraceptive advice or to use oral contraceptives. Obese men have fewer sexual partners in a 12 month period, but are more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction and develop sexually transmitted infections than normal weight men.

Being obese impacts on sexual health, according to research published online in the British Medical Journal.

Related Articles


The study reports that the rate of unplanned pregnancies is four times higher among single obese women than normal weight women, despite them being less likely to have been sexually active in the past year. Obese women are less likely to seek contraceptive advice or to use oral contraceptives. Obese men have fewer sexual partners in a 12 month period, but are more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction and develop sexually transmitted infections than normal weight men.

Obesity is emerging as one of the fastest growing pandemics in modern times says the study, but its effects on sexual health are unclear. The research led by Professor Nathalie Bajos, Research Director at the Institut National de la Santι et de la Recherche Medicale in Paris, is the first major study to investigate the impact of being overweight or obese on sexual activity and sexual health outcomes such as sexual satisfaction, unintended pregnancy and abortion.

The authors undertook a survey of sexual behaviours among 12,364 men and women aged between 18 and 69 years of age living in France in 2006. Of the participants, 3,651 women and 2,725 men were normal weight (BMI between 18.5 and 25), 1,010 women and 1,488 men were overweight (BMI between 25 and 30) and 411 women and 350 men were obese (BMI over 30).

The results show that obese women were 30% less likely to have had a sexual partner in the last 12 months. Obese men were 70% less likely to have had more than one sexual partner in the same period and were two and half times more likely to experience erectile dysfunction.

Sexual dysfunction was not associated with BMI among women. However, obese women under 30 were less likely to seek contraceptive advice or use oral contraceptives. They were also more likely to report an unintended pregnancy. Obese men under 30 were far more likely to have had a sexually transmitted infection.

Obese women were also five times as likely to have met their partner on the internet, more likely to have an obese partner, and less likely to view sex as important for personal life balance. The authors suggest that social pressure, low self-esteem and concerns about body image may help explain these findings.

The authors conclude that the public health impact of these findings is important. They say: "The scale of the problem and the magnitude of the effects (particularly the fourfold increase in risk of unintended pregnancy among obese women) warrants focused attention. In terms of targeting advice and care, a considerable proportion of the population is obese, is easily identified as such, as is at increased risk in terms of poorer sexual health status."

In an accompanying editorial, Dr Sandy Goldbeck-Wood, a specialist in psychosexual medicine, points to evidence showing that doctors find it difficult to discuss sex and weight issues with patients, and believes that clinicians must be prepared to address these difficult subjects which have such important effects on health and quality of life. She says: "We need to understand more about how obese people feel about their sex lives, and what drives the observed behaviours and attitudes."

She concludes: "In public health terms, the study lends a new slant to a familiar message: that obesity can harm not only health and longevity, but your sex life. And culturally, it reminds us as clinicians and researchers to look at the subjects we find difficult."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Obesity may harm your sexual health, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100615191657.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2010, June 16). Obesity may harm your sexual health, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100615191657.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Obesity may harm your sexual health, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100615191657.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) — A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) — Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) — We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) — A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins