Social burdens and women's sexuality

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It is a fact that median-age women are not often pleased with their sex lives. And this is not always due to aging, but to individual and social burdens.

A local, cross-cutting, descriptive study along these lines has so corroborated. Conducted in the January-May 2007 period, it involved 300 women aged 40 to 59 in Havana.

The research covered issues such as the menopausal syndrome, gender-related considerations, women's access to the labor market, household chores, family care, and the so-called sexual function index, which includes desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction, and pain over sex.

The study revealed that low self-esteem, poor family communication, irritability, insomnia, and depression often arise in this period and negatively affect women's sexual activity.

One every three women under the study was not pleased with her sexual performance.

Over 67 percent said they were happy with their sex lives, and around 20 percent confessed their sexual partners were suffering from erectile dysfunction and/or premature ejaculation.

"Only three every 10 local women have some type of sexual dysfunction," the study concluded. Conducted by Daysi Navarro, Blanca Manzano and Miguel Lugones, the study was entitled Sexual function in median-age women in Havana.

Research works on menopause do not abound in Cuba and Latin America. It is interesting to note that, while aging men are believed to experience only "changes in eroticism", median-age women are thought to endure dysfunctions.

Specialized studies show that sexual disorders affect 42 percent to 84 percent of these women.

The local research sought to identify "normal" changes over menopause, taking into account that all organs and systems are affected by aging.

"This is indispensable to effective therapeutic response," it concluded.

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