Sexual dysfunction among married couples living in Kumasi metropolis, Ghana.

BMC Urol 2011 Mar 2;11. Epub 2011 Mar 2.

Department of Medical Laboratory Technology, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.

Background: Sexuality and its manifestation constitute some of the most complex of human behaviour and its disorders are encountered in community. Sexual dysfunction is more prevalent in women than in men. While studies examining sexual dysfunction among males and females in Ghana exist, there are no studies relating sexual problems in males and females as dyadic units. This study therefore investigated the prevalence and type of sexual disorders among married couples.

Method: The study participants consisted of married couples between the ages of 19 and 66 living in the province of Kumasi, Ghana. Socio-demographic information and Golombok-Rust Inventory of Sexual Satisfaction (GRISS) questionnaires were administered to 200 couples who consented to take part in the study. All 28 questions of the GRISS are answered on a five-point (Likert type) scale from "always", through "usually', "sometimes", and "hardly ever", to "never". Responses are summed up to give a total raw score ranging from 28-140. The total score and subscale scores are transformed using a standard nine point scale, with high scores indicating greater problems. Scores of five or more are considered to indicate SD. The study was conducted between July and September 2010.

Results: Out of a total of 200 married couples, 179 completed their questionnaires resulting in a response rate of 89.5%. The mean age of the participating couples as well as the mean duration of marriage was 34.8 ± 8.6 years and 7.8 ± 7.6 years respectively. The husbands (37.1 ± 8.6) were significantly older (p < 0.0001) than their corresponding wives (32.5 ± 7.9). After adjusting for age, 13-18 years of marriage life poses about 10 times significant risk of developing SD compared to 1-6 years of married life among the wives (OR: 10.8; CI: 1.1 - 49.1; p = 0.04). The total scores (6.0) as well as the percentage above the cut-off (59.2) obtained by the husbands compared to the total score (6.2) and the percentage above cut-off (61.5) obtained by the wives, indicates the likely presence of sexual dysfunction. The prevalence of impotence and premature ejaculation were 60.9% and 65.4% respectively from this study and the prevalence of vaginismus and anorgasmia were 69.3% and 74.9% respectively. The highest prevalence of SD subscales among the men was dissatisfaction with sexual act followed by infrequency, whereas the highest among the women was infrequency followed by anorgasmia. Dissatisfaction with sexual intercourse among men correlated positively with anorgasmia and wife's non-sensuality and infrequency of sex.

Conclusion: The prevalence of sexual dysfunction in married couples is comparable to prevalence rates in the general male and female population and is further worsened by duration of marriage. This could impact significantly on a couple's self-esteem and overall quality of life.

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