Sexual Desire and Related Factors in Middle-Aged and Elderly Married Women: A Cross-Sectional Study in Iran


  • Mahbubeh Tabatabaeichehr Geriatric Care Research Center, Department of Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, North Khorasan University of Medical Sciences, Bojnurd
  • Hamed Mortazavi Geriatric Care Research Center, Department of Geriatric Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, North Khorasan University of Medical Sciences, Bojnurd
  • Mahdi Hares Abadi Geriatric Care Research Center, Department of Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, North Khorasan University of Medical Sciences, Bojnurd
  • Leili Moayed Student Research Committee, Gerontological Care Research Center, North Khorasan University of Medical Sciences, Bojnurd



Sexual Behavior, Sexual desire, Spouses, Women, Aged


BACKGROUND: The sexual desire in the middle-aged and senior women is one of the factors affecting their quality of life and psychological well-being.

AIM: The present study was aimed to assess the sexual desire and related factors among married women aged 50-70 years.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this descriptive-analytical study, 210 married menopausal women aged 50-70 years were selected by cluster sampling method. Data were collected using a demographic profile questionnaire and Sexual Desire Inventory (SDI), and analysed by SPSS version 22 software using descriptive statistics and independent t-test, ANOVA and Pearson correlation coefficient tests.

RESULTS: The mean age of women was 59.40 ± 5.93 years, and the mean sexual desire score was 22.66 ± 17.78 (out of 112). There was a significant relationship between sexual desire score and age, educational level, occupation of women and spouses, age of menopause, marital history, number of pregnancies and children, individual health and pain level (P < 0.001). The sexual desire score had a significant association with diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, high cholesterol, chronic pain, gastrointestinal problems, chronic ulcers, bladder and intestinal problems, joint and bone disorders, taking cardiac medications, antihypertensive, anticoagulant, insulin, cholesterol-lowering drugs (P < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: The low sexual desire score and its reduction with age and the presence of various diseases and factors affecting sexual desire highlight the importance of diagnostic screening, family related educational planning and the role of health care providers in the health status of the older adults.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...


Pavlou MP, Lachs MS. Self-neglect in older adults: a primer for clinicians. J Gen Intern Med. 2008; 23(11):1841-6. PMid:18649111 PMCid:PMC2585676

Ferrara E, Pugnaire MP, Jonassen JA, O'Dell K, Clay M, Hatem D, Carlin M. Sexual health innovations in undergraduate medical education. International journal of impotence research. 2003; 15(S5): S46. PMid:14551577

March AL. Sexuality and Intimacy in the Older Adult Woman. Nurs Clin North Am. 2018; 53(2):279-287. PMid:29779519

Maddineshat M, Keyvanloo S, Lashkardoost H, Arki M, Tabatabaeichehr M. Effectiveness of Group Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy on Symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) ‎. Iran J Psychiatry. 2016; 11(1):30-6. PMid:27252766 PMCid:PMC4888138

Kalra G, Subramanyam A, Pinto C. Sexuality: desire, activity and intimacy in the elderly. Indian J Psychiatry. 2011; 53(4):300-6. PMid:22303037 PMCid:PMC3267340

Emami Zeydi A, Sharafkhani M, Armat MR, Gould KA, Soleimani A, Hosseini SJ. Women's Sexual Issues after Myocardial Infarction: A Literature Review. Dimens Crit Care Nurs. 2016; 35(4):195-203. PMid:27258956

Muliira JK, Muliira RS. Sexual Health for Older Women: Implications for nurses and other healthcare providers. Sultan Qaboos Univ Med J. 2013; 13(4):469-76.

Ganji R, Pakniat A, Armat MR, Tabatabaeichehr M, Mortazavi H. The effect of self-management educational program on pain intensity in elderly patients with knee osteoarthritis: a randomized clinical trial. Open Access Maced J Med Sci. 2018; 6(6):1062-1066. PMid:29983802 PMCid:PMC6026434

Mortazavi H. Could Art Therapy Reduce the Death Anxiety of Patients with Advanced Cancer? An Interesting Question that Deserves to be Investigated. Indian J Palliat Care. 2018; 24(3):387-388. PMid:30111962 PMCid:PMC6069628

Gott M, Hinchliff S. How important is sex in later life? The views of older people. Soc Sci Med. 2003; 56(8):1617-28.

Waite LJ, Iveniuk J, Laumann EO, McClintock MK. Sexuality in Older Couples: Individual and Dyadic Characteristics. Arch Sex Behav. 2017; 46(2):605-618. PMid:26714683 PMCid:PMC5554590

Fisher WA, Donahue KL, Long JS, Heiman JR, Rosen RC, Sand MS. Individual and partner correlates of sexual satisfaction and relationship happiness in midlife couples: dyadic analysis of the international survey of relationships. Arch Sex Behav. 2015; 44(6):1609-20. PMid:25370356

Inelmen EM, Sergi G, Girardi A, Coin A, Toffanello ED, Cardin F, et al. The importance of sexual health in the elderly: breaking down barriers and taboos. Aging Clin Exp Res. 2012; 24(3 Suppl):31-4. PMid:23160504

Gott M, Hinchliff S, Galena E. General practitioner attitudes to discussing sexual health issues with older people. Soc Sci Med. 2004; 58(11):2093-103. PMid:15047069

Tracee N, Moore. Race, sexual desire, sexual activity and sexual satisfaction among older adults. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Tennessee State University, 2011.

DeLamater JD1, Sill M. Sexual desire in later life. J Sex Res. 2005; 42(2):138-49. PMid:16123844

Beigi M, Fahami F, Hassan-Zahraei R, Arman S. Sexual dysfunction in menopause. J Isfahan Med Sch. 2008; 26(90):294-300.

da Silva Lara LA, Useche B, Rosa E Silva JC, Ferriani RA, Reis RM, de Sá MF, et al. Sexuality during the climacteric period. Maturitas. 2009; 62(2):127-33. PMid:19186014

Sheikhan Z, Pazandeh F, Dr Azar M, Ziaei T, Alavi Majd H. Sexual satisfaction and some factors affecting it in postmenopausal women. Journal of Zanjan University of Medical Sciences. 2011; (71):89-81.

Palacios S, Casta-o R, Grazziotin A. Epidemiology of female sexual dysfunction. Maturitas. 2009; 63(2):119-23. PMid:19482447

Leiblum SR, Swartzman LC. Women's attitudes toward the menopause: an update. Maturitas. 1986; 8(1):47-56.

Robinson G. Cross-cultural perspectives on menopause. J Nerv Ment Dis. 1996; 184(8):453-8. PMid:8752073

Addis IB, Van Den Eeden SK, Wassel-Fyr CL, Vittinghoff E, Brown JS, Thom DH et al. Sexual activity and function in middle-aged and older women. Obstet Gynecol. 2006; 107(4):755-64. PMid:16582109 PMCid:PMC1557393

Dennerstein L, Dudly E, Guthrie J. Empty nest or revolving door? A prospective study of women's quality of life in midlife during the phase of children leaving and re-entering the home. Psychol Med 2002; 32(3):545-50. PMid:11989999

Basson R. Human sex-response cycles. J Sex Marital Ther. 2001; 27(1):33-43. PMid:11224952

Ponholzer A, Roehlich M, Racz U, Temml C, Madersbacher S. Female sexual dysfunction in a healthy Austrian cohort: prevalence and risk factors. Eur Urol. 2005; 47(3):366-74; discussion 374-5. PMid:15716203

Tomic D, Gallicchio L, Whiteman MK, Lewis LM, Langenberg P, Flaws JA. Factors associated with determinants of sexual functioning in midlife women. Maturitas 2006; 53(2):144-57. PMid:16368468

Penteado SR, Fonseca AM, Bagnoli VR, Assis JS, Pinotti JA. Sexuality in healthy postmenopausal women. Climacteric. 2003; 6(4):321-9. PMid:15006253

Valadares AL, Pinto-Neto AM, Osis MJ, Conde DM, Sousa MH, Costa-Paiva L. Sexuality in Brazilian women aged 40 to 65 years with 11 years or more of formal education: associated factors. Menopause. 2008; 15(2):264-9. PMid:17917608

González M, Viáfara G, Caba F, Molina T, Ortiz C. Libido and orgasm in middle-aged woman. Maturitas. 2006; 53(1):1-10. PMid:16213679

Bach LE, Mortimer JA, VandeWeerd C, Corvin J. The association of physical and mental health with sexual activity in older adults in a retirement community. J Sex Med. 2013; 10(11):2671-8. PMid:23981252

Guthrie JR, Dennerstein L, Taffe JR, Lehert P, Burger HG. The menopausal transition: a 9-year prospective population-based study. The Melbourne Women's Midlife Health Project. Climacteric. 2004; 7(4):375-89. PMid:15799609

Blumel JE, Castelo-Baranco C, Binfa L, Gramegna G, Tacla X, Aracena B, et al. Quality of life after the menopause: a population study. Maturitas 2000; 34(1):17-23.

Lindau ST, Gavrilova N. Sex, health, and years of sexually active life gained due to good health: evidence from two US population based cross sectional surveys of ageing. BMJ. 2010; 340:c810. PMid:20215365 PMCid:PMC2835854



How to Cite

Tabatabaeichehr M, Mortazavi H, Abadi MH, Moayed L. Sexual Desire and Related Factors in Middle-Aged and Elderly Married Women: A Cross-Sectional Study in Iran. Open Access Maced J Med Sci [Internet]. 2018 Oct. 10 [cited 2021 Apr. 12];6(10):1906-11. Available from:



E - Public Health