Patients who are obese frequently report changes in sexual functioning and decreased sexual satisfaction, although few studies have investigated changes in sexual functioning and sex hormone levels in women who have lost weight, according to the study background.
David B. Sarwer, Ph.D., of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and colleagues conducted a study with 106 women who underwent bariatric surgery. They examined sexual functioning and sex hormone levels, as well as quality of life, body image and depressive symptoms.
The women lost an average of 32.7 percent of their initial body weight in the first year and an average 33.5 percent at the second postoperative year.
"Two years following surgery, women reported significant improvement in overall sexual functioning and specific domains of sexual functioning: arousal, lubrication, desires and satisfaction," the study results note.
Two years after surgery, woman also saw improvements in most reproductive hormone levels. They also reported improved body image and depressive symptoms at both postoperative periods.
"These results suggest that improvements in sexual health may be added to the list of benefits associated with large weight losses seen with bariatric surgery," the study concludes. "Future studies should investigate if these changes endure over longer periods of time, and they should investigate changes in sexual functioning in men who undergo bariatric surgery."