CHENNAI: Cysts in the ovaries and sexual dysfunction are correlated, a new study has found suggesting that it is not enough to treat the cysts; but sexual dysfunction also needs to be addressed for better chances of conceiving. The study was done by Aakash Fertility Centre and Hospital for a year between April 2013 to 2014, and the findings were presented at the two-day conference conducted by Indian Association for Sexology in Chennai last week.
It is known that women with Polyscystic Ovaries Syndrome (PCOS), a growth of ovarian cysts (benign masses in the ovaries), will have difficulty in conceiving unless the problem is corrected. Most fertility treatment specialists concentrate on correcting the PCOS. But this may not be enough to help women conceive, says the study.
“Sexual dysfunction too should be addressed,” said Dr KS Jeyarani Kamaraj, director Aakash Fertility Centre, who led the study. Sexual dysfunction is the lack of desire to have sex.
The study titled ‘Unexplored problems in PCOS’ involved 301 infertile women who were undergoing treatment at the Aakash Fertility Centre. Women under 40 years were selected for the study and they were asked six pointed questions related to desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction and pain. And their answers were categorised and graded for analysis.
“Much to our surprise, it was found that over 68% of women with PCOS had issues related to sexual dysfunction. For those without PCOS, the figure was less than half — 32%. This shows that PCOS and sexual dysfunction are co related,” said Dr Jeyarani, who is also the executive committee member of Indian Society for Assisted Reproduction, Tamil Nadu chapter.
Most fertility specialists do not probe the sexual relationship of the couple. This delays fertility treatment and also will lead to unnecessary procedures. “Correcting sexual dysfunction first by counselling the couple and then starting treatment for PCOS will help many women to conceive naturally,” she added.
The prevalence of PCOS in general population is 24%, while it is at a high 60-70% among infertile women. This shows PCOS is one of the major causes of infertility, she added. Obesity and hormonal imbalance are other causes but these are hereditary factors. Women with PCOS will have irregular menstrual cycle, secretion of male hormone androgen higher than normal level, and diabetes too.