Incidence and Prevalence of Sexual Dysfunction in Women and Men: A Consensus Statement from the Fourth International Consultation on Sexual Medicine 2015



      The incidence and prevalence of various sexual dysfunctions in women and men are important to understand to designate priorities for epidemiologic and clinical research.


      This manuscript was designed to conduct a review of the literature to determine the incidence and prevalence of sexual dysfunction in women and men.


      Members of Committee 1 of the Fourth International Consultation on Sexual Medicine (2015) searched and reviewed epidemiologic literature on the incidence and prevalence of sexual dysfunctions. Key older studies and most studies published after 2009 were included in the text of this article.

      Main Outcome Measures

      The outcome measures were the reports in the various studies of the incidence and prevalence of sexual dysfunction among women and men.


      There are more studies on incidence and prevalence for men than for women and many more studies on prevalence than incidence for women and men. The data indicate that the most frequent sexual dysfunctions for women are desire and arousal dysfunctions. In addition, there is a large proportion of women who experience multiple sexual dysfunctions. For men, premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction are the most common sexual dysfunctions, with less comorbidity across sexual dysfunctions for men compared with women.


      These data need to be treated with caution, because there is a high level of variability across studies caused by methodologic differences in the instruments used to assess presence of sexual dysfunction, ages of samples, nature of samples, methodology used to gather the data, and cultural differences. Future research needs to use well-validated tools to gather data and ensure that the data collection strategy is clearly described.

      Key Words

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment
      ISSM Member Login
      Login with your ISSM username and password.
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Purchase one-time access:

      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Burri A.
        • Spector T.
        Recent and lifelong sexual dysfunction in female UK population sample: prevalence and risk factors.
        J Sex Med. 2001; 8: 2420
        • Kontula O.
        • Haavio-Mannila E.
        Sexual pleasures. Enhancement of sex life in Finland. 1971–1992.
        Dartmouth, Aldershot1995
        • Fugl-Meyer K.S.
        Sexual disabilities and sexual problems.
        in: Fugl-Meyer K.S. Sex in Sweden. Swedish National Institute of Health, Stockholm2000: 199
        • Smith A.M.A.
        • Lyons A.
        • Ferris J.A.
        • et al.
        Incidence and persistence/recurrence of women's sexual difficulties: findings from the Australian Longitudinal Study of Health and Relationships.
        J Sex Marital Ther. 2012; 38: 378
        • Martin S.A.
        • Atlantis E.
        • Lange K.
        • et al.
        • members of the Florey Adelaide Male Ageing Study
        Predictors of sexual dysfunction incidence and remission in men.
        J Sex Med. 2014; 11: 1136
        • Gades N.M.
        • Jacobson D.J.
        • McGree M.E.
        • et al.
        Longitudinal evaluation of sexual function in a male cohort: the Olmsted County Study of Urinary Symptoms and Health Status among Men.
        J Sex Med. 2009; 6: 455
        • Johannes C.B.
        • Araujo A.B.
        • Feldman H.A.
        • et al.
        Incidence of erectile dysfunction in men 40–69 years old: longitudinal results from the Massachusetts Male Aging Study.
        J Urol. 2000; 163: 460
        • Moreira E.D.
        • Lbo C.F.
        • Diament A.
        • et al.
        Incidence of erectile dysfunction in men 40 to 69 years old: results from a population-based cohort study in Brazil.
        Urology. 2003; 61: 431
        • Schouten B.W.
        • Bosch J.L.
        • Bernsen R.M.
        • et al.
        Incidence rates of erectile dysfunction in the Dutch general population. Effects of definition, clinical relevance and duration of follow-up in the Krimpen Study.
        Int J Impot Res. 2005; 17: 58
        • Shiri R.
        • Koskimaki J.
        • Hakama M.
        • et al.
        Effect of chronic diseases on incidence of erectile dysfunction.
        Urology. 2003; 62: 1097
        • Shiri R.
        • Koskimaki J.
        • Hakama M.
        • et al.
        Effect of life-style factors on incidence of erectile dysfunction.
        Int J Impot Res. 2004; 16: 389
        • Wei M.
        • Macera C.A.
        • Davis D.R.
        • et al.
        Total cholesterol and high density lipoprotein cholesterol as important predictors of erectile dysfunction.
        Am J Epidemiol. 1994; 140: 930
        • Kaye J.A.
        • Jick H.
        Incidence of erectile dysfunction and characteristics of patients before and after the introduction of sildenafil in the United Kingdom: cross sectional study with comparison patients.
        BMJ. 2003; 326: 424
      1. McCabe MP, Sharlip ID, Lewis R, et al. Proceedings from the 4th International Consultation on Sexual Medicine–committee 1: current definitions, classification and epidemiology of sexual dysfunction in women and men. 2015.

        • Osborn M.
        • Hawton K.
        • Gath D.
        Sexual dysfunction among middle-aged women in the community.
        BMJ. 1988; 296: 959
        • Laumann E.O.
        • Paik A.
        • Rosen R.C.
        Sexual dysfunction in the United States: prevalence and predictors.
        JAMA. 1999; 281: 537
        • Fugl-Meyer A.R.
        • Sjögren Fugl-Meyer K.
        Sexual disabilities, problems and satisfaction in 18–74 year-old Swedes.
        Scand J Sexol. 1999; 2: 79
        • Safarinejad M.R.
        Female sexual dysfunction in a population-based study in Iran: prevalence and associated risk factors.
        Int J Impot Res. 2006; 18: 382
        • Richters J.
        • Grulich A.E.
        • de Visser R.O.
        • et al.
        Sex in Australia: sexual difficulties in a representative sample of adults.
        Aust N Z J Public Health. 2003; 27: 164
        • Nicolosi A.
        • Laumann E.O.
        • Glasser D.B.
        • et al.
        Sexual behavior and sexual dysfunctions after the age 40: the Global Study of Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors.
        Urology. 2004; 64: 991
        • Avellanet Y.R.
        • Ortiz A.P.
        • Pando J.R.
        • et al.
        Relationship between loss of libido and signs and symptoms of depression in a sample of Puerto Rican middle-aged women.
        P R Health Sci J. 2008; 2: 85
        • Shifren J.L.
        • Monz B.U.
        • Russo P.A.
        • et al.
        Sexual problems and distress in United States women: prevalence and correlates.
        Obstet Gynecol. 2008; 112: 970
        • Groupe ACSF
        Spira A. Bajos N. Comportements sexuels et sida en France. Les Editions INSERM, Paris1998
        • Öberg K.
        • Fugl-Meyer A.R.
        • Sjögren Fugl-Meyer K.
        On categorization and quantification of women's sexual dysfunction. An epidemiological approach.
        Int J Impot Res. 2004; 16: 261
        • Dennerstein L.
        • Guthrie J.R.
        • Hayes R.D.
        • et al.
        Sexual function, dysfunction, and sexual distress in a prospective, population-based sample of mid-aged Australian-born women.
        J Sex Med. 2008; 5: 2291
        • Johannes C.B.
        • Avis N.E.
        Gender differences in sexual activity among mid-aged adults in Massachusetts.
        Maturitas. 1997; 26: 175
        • Johnson S.D.
        • Phelps D.L.
        • Cottler L.B.
        The association of sexual dysfunction and substance use among a community epidemiological sample.
        Arch Sex Behav. 2004; 33: 55
        • Hayes R.D.
        • Dennerstein L.
        • Bennett C.M.
        • et al.
        What is the ‘true’ prevalence of female sexual dysfunctions and does the way we assess these conditions have an impact?.
        J Sex Med. 2008; 5: 777
        • Eplov L.
        • Giraldi A.
        • Davidsen M.
        • et al.
        Sexual desire in a nationally representative Danish population.
        Int Soc Sex Med. 2007; 4: 47
        • Amidu N.
        • Owiredu W.
        • Woode E.
        • et al.
        Incidence of sexual dysfunction: a prospective survey in Ghanaian women.
        Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2010; 8: 106
        • Lindau S.T.
        • Schumm P.L.
        • Laumann E.O.
        • et al.
        A Study of sexuality and health among older adults in the United States.
        N Engl J Med. 2007; 357: 762
        • Gruszecki L.
        • Forchuk C.
        • Fisher W.A.
        Factors associated with common sexual concerns in women: new findings from the Canadian Contraception Study.
        Can J Hum Sex. 2005; 14: 1
        • Kadri N.
        • Mchichi Alami K.H.
        • Mchakra T.
        Sexual dysfunction in women: Ppopulation based epidemiological study.
        Arch Womens Ment Health. 2002; 5: 59
        • Smith A.M.A.
        • Rissel C.E.
        • Richters J.
        • et al.
        Sex in Australia: the rationale and methods and rationale of the Australian Study of Health and Relationships.
        Aust N Z J Public Health. 2003; 27: 106
        • Barlow D.H.
        • Cardozo L.D.
        • Francis R.M.
        • et al.
        Urogenital ageing and its effect on sexual health in older British women.
        Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1997; 104: 87
        • Ghanbarzadeh N.
        • Nadjafi-Semnani M.
        • Ghanbarzadeh M.-R.
        • et al.
        Female sexual dysfunction in Iran: study of prevalence and risk factors.
        Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2013; 287: 533
        • Nolazco C.
        • Bellora O.
        • Lopez M.
        • et al.
        Prevalence of sexual dysfunctions in Argentina.
        Int J Impot Res. 2004; 16: 69
        • Moreira Jr., E.D.
        • Kim S.C.
        • Glasser D.
        • et al.
        Sexual activity, prevalence of sexual problems, and associated help-seeking patterns in men and women aged 40–80 years in Korea: data from the Global Study of Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors (GSSAB).
        J Sex Med. 2006; 3: 201
        • Corona G.
        • Petrone L.
        • Mannucci E.
        • et al.
        The impotent couple: low desire.
        Int J Androl. 2005; 28: 46
        • Korfage I.J.
        • Roobol M.
        • de Koning H.J.
        • et al.
        Does “normal” aging imply urinary, bowel, and erectile dysfunction? A general population survey.
        Urology. 2008; 72: 3
        • Rosen R.
        • Altwein J.
        • Boyle P.
        • et al.
        Lower urinary tract symptoms and male sexual dysfunction: the Multinational Survey of Aging Male (MSAM-7).
        Eur Urol. 2003; 44: 637
        • Nicolosi A.
        • Moreira Jr., E.D.
        • Shirai M.
        • et al.
        Epidemiology of erectile dysfunction in four countries: cross-national study of the prevalence and correlates of erectile dysfunction.
        Urology. 2003; 61: 201
        • Rosen R.C.
        • Fisher W.A.
        • Eardley I.
        • et al.
        Men's Attitudes to Life Events and Sexuality (MALES) study: I. Prevalence of erectile dysfunction and related health concerns in the general population.
        Curr Med Res Opin. 2004; 20: 601
        • Shabsigh R.
        • Perelman M.A.
        • Lockhart D.C.
        • et al.
        Health issues of men: prevalence and correlates of erectile dysfunction.
        J Urol. 2005; 174: 662
        • Laumann E.O.
        • Nicolosi A.
        • Glasser D.B.
        • et al.
        Sexual problems among women and men aged 40–80 y: prevalence and correlates identified in the Global Study of Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors.
        Int J Impot Res. 2003; 17: 39
        • Wong S.Y.S.
        • Leung J.C.S.
        • Woo J.
        Sexual activity, erectile dysfunction and their correlates among 1,566 older Chinese men in Southern China.
        J Sex Med. 2009; 6: 74
        • Shaeer O.
        • Shaeer K.
        The Global Online Sexuality Survey (GOSS): erectile dysfunction among arabic-speaking internet users in the Middle East.
        J Sex Med. 2011; 8: 2152
        • Tan W.S.
        • Ng C.J.
        • Khoo E.M.
        • et al.
        The triad of erectile dysfunction, testosterone deficiency syndrome and metabolic syndrome: findings from a multi-ethnic Asian men study (the Subang Men’s Health Study).
        Aging Male. 2011; 14: 231
        • Weber M.F.
        • Smith D.P.
        • O'Connell D.L.
        • et al.
        Risk factors for erectile dysfunction in a cohort of 108,477 Australian men.
        Med J Aust. 2013; 199: 107
        • Rosen R.C.
        • Riley A.
        • Wagner G.
        • et al.
        The International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF): a multidimensional scale for assessment of erectile dysfunction.
        Urology. 1997; 49: 822
        • Derby C.A.
        • Araujo A.B.
        • Johannes C.B.
        • et al.
        Measurement of erectile dysfunction in population-based studies: the use of a single question self-assessment in the Massachusetts Male Aging Study.
        Int J Impot Res. 2000; 12: 197
        • Nazareth I.
        • Boynton P.
        • King M.
        Problems with sexual function in people attending London general practitioners: cross sectional study.
        BMJ. 2003; 327: 423
        • Ahn T.J.
        • Park J.K.
        • Lee S.W.
        • et al.
        Prevalence and risk factors for erectile dysfunction in Korean men: results of an epidemiological study.
        J Sex Med. 2007; 4: 1269
        • Lee S.W.
        • Lee J.H.
        • Sung H.H.
        • et al.
        The prevalence of premature ejaculation and its clinical characteristics in Korean men according to different definitions.
        Int J Impot Res. 2012; 25: 12
        • Hwang I.
        • Yang D.-O.
        • Park K.
        Self-reported prevalence of and attitudes toward premature ejaculation in a community-based study of married couples.
        World J Mens Health. 2013; 31: 70
        • Zhang H.
        • Yip A.W.
        • Fan S.
        • et al.
        Sexual Dysfunction among Chinese married men aged 30–60 years: a population-based study in Hong Kong.
        Urology. 2013; 81: 334
        • McMahon C.
        • Lee G.
        • Park J.
        • et al.
        Premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction prevalence and attitudes in the Asia-Pacific Region.
        J Sex Med. 2012; 9: 454
        • Corona G.
        • Jannini E.A.
        • Mannucci E.
        • et al.
        Different testosterone levels are associated with ejaculatory dysfunction.
        J Sex Med. 2008; 5: 1991
        • Enzlin P.
        • Mak R.
        • Kittel F.
        • et al.
        Sexual functioning in a population-based study of men aged 40–69 years: the good news.
        Int J Impot Res. 2004; 16: 512
        • Moreira Jr., E.D.
        • Hartmann U.
        • Glasser D.B.
        • et al.
        A population survey of sexual activity, sexual dysfunction and associated help-seeking behavior in middle-aged and older adults in Germany.
        Eur J Med Res. 2005; 10: 434
        • Parish W.L.
        • Luo Y.
        • Stolzenberg R.
        • et al.
        Sexual practices and sexual satisfaction: a population based study of Chinese urban adults.
        Arch Sex Behav. 2007; 36: 5
        • Nickel J.C.
        • Elhilali M.
        • Vallancien G.
        Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostatitis: prevalence of painful ejaculation in men with clinical BPH.
        BJU Int. 2005; 95: 571
        • O’Sullivan L.F.
        • Brotto L.A.
        • Byers E.S.
        • et al.
        Prevalence and characteristics of sexual functioning among sexually experienced middle to late adolescents.
        J Sex Med. 2014; 11: 630
        • Capogrosso P.
        • Colicchia M.
        • Ventimiglia E.
        • et al.
        One patient out of four with newly diagnosed erectile dysfunction is a young man—worrisome picture from the everyday clinical practice.
        J Sex Med. 2013; 10: 1833
        • Martins F.G.
        • Abdo C.H.N.
        Erectile dysfunction and correlated factors in Brazilian men aged 18–40 years.
        J Sex Med. 2010; 7: 2166
        • Wilcox S.L.
        • Redmond S.
        • Hassan A.M.
        Sexual functioning in military personnel: preliminary estimates and predictors.
        J Sex Med. 2014; 11: 2537