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The sexual life of women with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can be affected by breathing difficulties, decreased functional status, depressive mood and fatigue.

To evaluate the sexual dysfunction in female COPD patients and the possible explanatory mechanisms or correlations between these conditions.

Methods: The study included 70 female patients with COPD aged between 36-65 and 70 age-matched controls. All the subjects completed questionnaires for the Female Sexual Functional Index (FSFI), BECK depression inventory and spirometry.

Statistically significant sexual dysfunction was noted in COPD patients compared to the non-COPD group (p<0.001). BECK depression inventory scores of the COPD patients were also significantly lower (p><0.001). no correlation between FSFI and BECK depression scores in 'patients' characteristics (r=-0.055, p=0.651). No significant difference was found in age, forced expiratory volume (FEV)1%, and exacerbation history of the previous year according to severity of depression (p>0.005). In linear regression analysis determining depression, no statistically significant factor was found among age, number of comorbidities, and FEV1/ forced vital capacity (FVC) % predicted (p>0.05). In multivariable analysis, only fatigue during intercourse was found to be a statistically significant factor in predicting sexual dysfunction among factors like age, presence of comorbidities, duration of the disease, smoking status, FEV1%, m MRCpoints, 6-minutes walk test, BECK depression scores (p=0.008).

Sexual dysfunction is reported in many COPD females and seems to be related not to spirometric measures or exercise capacity but to fatigue. Depression is also a common comorbidity, of which both disorders are often neglected.

Müfide Arzu Özkarafakılı, University of Health Sciences


Cemil Kutsal, University of Health Sciences, Sisli Hamidiye Etfal Training and Research Hospital, Department of Urology, Istanbul Turkey



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Received 2023-06-03
Accepted 2023-09-18
Published 2024-04-12