In the cross-sectional sample, 36% of women and 31% of men reported experiencing an impaired sex life. Women with nontoxic and toxic nodular goiter reported less sexual impairment than women with autoimmune thyroid disease.
In the longitudinal sample, 42% of women and 33% of men reported an impaired sex life at baseline. Also, in the longitudinal group, more women with Graves’ hyperthyroidism reported an impaired sex life than women with nontoxic goiter.
“While much is known about the effects of treatment of benign thyroid diseases on biochemical changes, mortality and morbidity, data on the impact of chronic, benign thyroid diseases on the quality of sex life are scant,” of the department of endocrinology, metabolism and internal disease at Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poland, and colleagues wrote in the study background.
“Sexual dysfunction in patients with thyroid diseases might result from hormonal changes, thyroid autoantibodies, psychological imbalance and somatic symptoms in the genital organs, as well as from psychiatric and somatic morbidity. These complex alterations are often associated with infertility.”Overall QOL was lower in patients with thyroid-related sex life impairment.
We found a high frequency of self-reported, thyroid-related sex life impairment in patients with benign thyroid diseases, especially in young women with autoimmune thyroid diseases. Self-perceived impaired sex life persisted in women treated for Graves' disease, suggesting that normalization of thyroid function was not sufficient to restore sexual function.