Conaglen, H. M., Conaglen, J. V. (2003). Sexual desire in women presenting for antiandrogen therapy. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 29(4), 255-267.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/8182
Women presenting with hirsuties/polycystic ovary syndrome have increased production of androgens. Clinical lore suggests that these women may have increased sexual desire. Treatment of hirsuties commonly involves antiandrogen therapy, a form of therapy with a potential for reducing sexual desire. The present study investigated sexual desire in 29 hirsute women aged 19 to 43 years presenting for therapy. We conducted a questionnaire appraisal of the women’s sexual desire, body and self-esteem, and affect at baseline, 3 months, and 12 months and compared the data with a control group of 30 nonhirsute women of similar mean age. Those in the treatment group also had their Ferriman and Gallwey scores and body mass indices calculated at baseline and end of study for those in the treatment group. We determined hormone levels for those in the treatment group with baseline blood tests. Our hypotheses were that the hirsute women would experience different levels of sexual desire than the control group prior to therapy and that therapy would have a demonstrable effect on the self-reported sexual desire of these women. The study demonstrated that women with hirsuties had mean levels of sexual desire and body esteem that were significantly lower than the control group women. During the year-long course of therapy, the sexual desire levels of the hirsute women decreased progressively, while their self-esteem increased. The women’s Ferriman and Gallwey scores fell, indicating diminishing hirsutism. These findings provide empirical data upon which clinicians can base advice to patients seeking therapy.