To evaluate the factors associated with the sexuality of middle-aged women with sexual partners.
A cross-sectional, population-based study was carried out using an anonymous, self-response questionnaire completed by Brazilian-born women 40 to 65 years old with 11 years or more of formal education who had a sexual partner. Of the 378 women who agreed to participate in the study, 219 answered all the questions used for calculation of the sexuality score and reported having a sexual partner. The instrument was based on the Short Personal Experiences Questionnaire. Seven components were analyzed: satisfaction in sexual activities, orgasm, intensity of desire, self-classification of sexual life, and frequency of arousal, sexual activity, and sexual fantasies. Sociodemographic, clinical, behavioral, reproductive, and partner-related factors were evaluated. Poisson multiple regression analysis was performed, and prevalence ratios (PRs) with their 95% CIs were estimated.
The median sexuality score was 9 (range, 2.45-13.77). The prevalence of below-median scores was higher in women who lived with their sexual partner (PR = 2.07; 95% CI: 1.17-3.69), who were in the menopausal transition or were postmenopausal (PR = 1.69; 95% CI: 1.08-2.65), and who were hypertensive (PR = 1.65; 95% CI: 1.19-2.30). Sexual activities involving penetration (PR = 0.48; 95% CI: 0.31-0.73) and a score of 6 for satisfaction with partner as a lover (PR = 0.34; 95% CI: 0.20-0.60) were indicative of a protective effect against poor sexuality.
In this cohort, the sexuality of women in midlife was negatively associated with the factors of living with a sexual partner, being in the menopausal transition or postmenopausal, and being hypertensive. Therefore, greater attention should be paid to identifying these factors, and measures should be adopted to minimize their repercussions on the sexuality of middle-aged women.