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Association of mindfulness with female sexual dysfunction

  • Author Footnotes
    1 Presented at Women's Health 2019, the annual meeting of the VCU Institute for Women's Health, Norfolk, Virginia, June 28–30, 2019.
    Richa Sood
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author at: Menopause and Women's Sexual Health Clinic, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St SW, Rochester, MN 55905, United States.
    Footnotes
    1 Presented at Women's Health 2019, the annual meeting of the VCU Institute for Women's Health, Norfolk, Virginia, June 28–30, 2019.
    Affiliations
    Menopause and Women's Sexual Health Clinic, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, United States

    Mayo Clinic Women's Health, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, United States
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  • Carol L. Kuhle
    Affiliations
    Menopause and Women's Sexual Health Clinic, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, United States

    Mayo Clinic Women's Health, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, United States
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  • Jacqueline M. Thielen
    Affiliations
    Mayo Clinic Women's Health, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, United States

    Division of General Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL, United States
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  • Ekta Kapoor
    Affiliations
    Menopause and Women's Sexual Health Clinic, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, United States

    Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism, and Nutrition, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, United States

    Mayo Clinic Women's Health, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, United States

    Women's Health Research Center, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, United States
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  • Jennifer A. Vencill
    Affiliations
    Menopause and Women's Sexual Health Clinic, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, United States

    Mayo Clinic Women's Health, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, United States

    Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, United States
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  • Kristin C. Mara
    Affiliations
    Division of Clinical Trials and Biostatistics, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, United States
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  • Stephanie S. Faubion
    Affiliations
    Mayo Clinic Women's Health, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, United States

    Women's Health Research Center, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, United States

    Division of General Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL, United States
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  • Author Footnotes
    1 Presented at Women's Health 2019, the annual meeting of the VCU Institute for Women's Health, Norfolk, Virginia, June 28–30, 2019.

      Highlights

      • Higher mindfulness was associated with lower odds of having sexual dysfunction.
      • Higher mindfulness was associated with better scores for sexual function.
      • Higher mindfulness correlated with lower sexual distress, controlling for scores on the female sexual function index.
      • Higher mindfulness correlated with better scores in all subdomains of the female sexual function except pain.

      Abstract

      Objectives

      Female sexual dysfunction (FSD) affects women of all ages. It is often a multifactorial problem with a strong psychosocial component. Mindfulness may help alleviate FSD with nonjudgmental, present-moment awareness and decreased emotional reactivity. The goal of this study was to assess the association between dispositional or trait mindfulness and FSD.

      Study Design

      In this cross-sectional study at a tertiary care women's health clinic, 1718 cisgender women (mean age, 51.9 years) completed the Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS), Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), and Female Sexual Distress Scale–Revised (FSDS-R).

      Main Outcome Measures

      Regression analysis was used to test the associations of mindfulness, sexual function, and sexual distress with univariate and multivariable analyses, adjusting for potential confounders.

      Results

      Within the sample, 57% of women met FSD criteria (FSFI scores ≤26.55 and FSDS-R ≥ 11). On univariate analysis, higher MAAS scores, signifying greater mindfulness, were associated with higher (better) sexual function scores, lower sexual distress scores, and lower odds of FSD. This association persisted on multivariable analysis after adjusting for potential confounders.

      Conclusions

      Higher trait mindfulness was associated with better sexual function, lower sexual distress, and lower likelihood of FSD. Further studies are needed to assess the role of mindfulness in mitigating FSD.

      Keywords

      Abbreviations:

      AUC (area under the curve), BMI (body mass index), CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), DREAMS (Data Registry on Experiences of Aging, Menopause, and Sexuality), FSD (female sexual dysfunction), FSDS-R (Female Sexual Distress Scale–Revised), FSFI (Female Sexual Function Index), GAD-7 (Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-Item Scale), IQR (interquartile range), KMSS (Kansas Marital Satisfaction Scale), MAAS (Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scale), MBCT (mindfulness-based cognitive therapy), MBT (mindfulness-based therapy), OR (odds ratio), PHQ-9 (Patient Health Questionnaire–9)
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