Group Mindfulness-based Therapy Significantly Improves Sexual Desire in Women

30Lori A. Brotto and Rosemary Basson

From Science Direct

At least a third of women across reproductive ages experience low sexual desire and impaired arousal. There is increasing evidence that mindfulness, defined as non-judgmental present moment awareness, may improve women’s sexual functioning. The goal of this study was to test the effectiveness of mindfulness-based therapy, either immediately or after a 3-month waiting period, in women seeking treatment for low sexual desire and arousal. Women participated in four 90-min group sessions that included mindfulness meditation, cognitive therapy, and education. A total of 117 women were assigned to either the immediate treatment (n = 68, mean age 40.8 yrs) or delayed treatment (n = 49, mean age 42.2 yrs) group, in which women had two pre-treatment baseline assessments followed by treatment. A total of 95 women completed assessments through to the 6-month follow-up period. Compared to the delayed treatment control group, treatment significantly improved sexual desire, sexual arousal, lubrication, sexual satisfaction, and overall sexual functioning. Sex-related distress significantly decreased in both conditions, regardless of treatment, as did orgasmic difficulties and depressive symptoms. Increases in mindfulness and a reduction in depressive symptoms predicted improvements in sexual desire. Mindfulness-based group therapy significantly improved sexual desire and other indices of sexual response, and should be considered in the treatment of women’s sexual dysfunction.

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