Abstract

Introduction: An individual’s social and marital function, interpersonal relationships, and quality of life may, sometimes be affected by negative body image. This study is aimed at determining the relationship between body image and sexual function in middle-aged women.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 437 middle-aged women, who were referred to various public healthcare centers in Ahvaz, Iran during 2014-2015, were selected. The Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) and Body Shape Questionnaire (BSQ) were used for data collection. Chi-square, one-way analysis of variance, Spearman's correlation test, and logistic regression analysis were performed for statistical analysis. 

Results: Approximately 58% of the participants expressed satisfaction with their body image, 35% were mildly dissatisfied, and 7% were moderately dissatisfied with their body image. Body image had a significant negative relationship with sexual satisfaction and sexual function (p=0.005). Furthermore, there was a significant relationship between body image and sexual desire (p=0.022), pain (p=0.001), sexual arousal (p<0.0005), sexual orgasm (p=0.001), and sexual satisfaction (p<0.0005). 

Conclusion: As the results indicated, body image is an important aspect of sexual health. In this study, women with a positive body image had higher sexual function valuation, compared to women with a negative body image. Also, body shape satisfaction was a predictor of sexual function.

 

Keywords: Body image, Sexual function, Middle-aged women
 
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