Saturday, January 23, 2016

Sexual Problems among Japanese Women: Data from an Online Helpline

Sexual problems have been more prevalent among East Asian women than those from other areas of the world. However, Japanese women seldom tend to consult their treating physicians as such intimate problems are socially awkward topics to share and may be considered shameful. Presently, there is little data in the literature regarding women's sexual problems in Japan.

We aimed (i) to investigate the types of sexual problems that were reported among Japanese women who had sought online consultations; and (ii) to examine whether factors such as age and family structure (marital status and presence of children) increased the likelihood of sexual problems.

An online helpline received a total of 316 messages from Japanese women related to sexual problems over a 3-year period. We evaluated 276 respondents, who provided demographic information such as age and family structure as well as their response to an open-ended question regarding their sexual problems.

Main outcome measures were the types of sexual problems reported by Japanese women.

The majority of respondents were in their 30s (53.6%). Sexual aversion accounted for 42.4% of the complaints, partners' sexual issues for 18.5%, and pain during sex for 16.7%. Family structure significantly correlated with sexual problems (P < 0.001). Women with sexual aversion were more likely to be younger (P = 0.003) and have children (P < 0.001). Women whose partners had sexual issues were more likely to be married (P < 0.001) and have no children (P < 0.001). Women who reported pain during sex were more likely to have no children (P = 0.006).

Sexual aversion was the most common sexual problem among Japanese women who sought help via the online helpline. Family structure was related to sexual problems. More detailed assessments of family structure may be important in better identifying the triggering causes of the reported sexual problems

Sexual problems of online consultations (N = 276)
Presenting problemsN (%)
Low sexual desire31 (11.2)
Inability to reach orgasm8 (2.9)
Pain during sex46 (16.7)
Sexual aversion117 (42.4)
Partners' sexual issues51 (18.5)
Low sexual desire23
Erectile dysfunction14
Delayed ejaculation7
Other23 (8.3)

Full article at:

  • 1Department of Urology Toho University School of Medicine Tokyo Japan.
  • 2Department of Health Informatics Kyoto University School of Public Health Kyoto Japan. 

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