Hormones and Female Sexual Dysfunction

Hormones and Female Sexual Dysfunction: Beyond Estrogens and Androgens—Findings From the Fourth International Consultation on Sexual Medicine


Introduction: In recent years, multiple hormones have been investigated in relation to female sexual function. Because consumers can easily purchase products claiming to contain these hormones, a clear statement regarding the current state of knowledge is required.

Aim: To review the contribution of hormones, other than estrogens and androgens, to female sexual functioning and the evidence that specific endocrinopathies in women are associated with female sexual dysfunction (FSD) and to update the previously published International Society of Sexual Medicine Consensus on this topic.

Methods: The literature was searched using several online databases with an emphasis on studies examining the physiologic role of oxytocin, prolactin, and progesterone in female sexual function and any potential therapeutic effect of these hormones. The association between common endocrine disorders, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, pituitary disorders, and obesity, and FSD also was examined.

Main Outcome Measures: Quality of data published in the literature and recommendations were based on the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Education system.

Results: There is no evidence to support the use of oxytocin or progesterone for FSD. Treating hyperprolactinemia might lessen FSD. Polycystic ovary syndrome, obesity, and metabolic syndrome could be associated with FSD, but data are limited. There is a strong association between diabetes mellitus and FSD.

Conclusion: Further research is required; in particular, high-quality, large-scale studies of women with common endocrinopathies are needed to determine the impact of these prevalent disorders on female sexual function.


Worsley R, Santoro N, MD, Miller KK, Parish SJ, Davis SR. J Sex Med 2016;13:283e290