Background: The benefits of treatment with testosterone (T) in women with loss of desire suggest that low androgens may distinguish women with sexual dysfunction (SD) from others; however, evidence on this point is lacking. Aim: To answer the question: is there an association between endogenous levels of androgens and sexual function in women? Methods: An extensive search was performed in MEDLINE, Embase and PsycInfo. Four separate meta-analyses were conducted for total T, free T, Free Androgen Index (FAI), and Dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS). Cohort, cross-sectional, and prospective studies were included. Outcomes: The main outcome was the association between endogenous androgens and sexual desire. Global sexual function was considered as a secondary outcome. The effect measure was expressed as standardized mean difference (SMD). Results: The meta-analysis on total T included 34 studies involving 3,268 women, mean age 36.5 years. In 11 studies, a significant association was found between sexual desire, measured by validated psychometric instruments, and total T (SMD = 0.59 [0.29;0.88], P < 0.0001), with a moderate effect. The association with global sexual function (n = 12 studies) was also significant (SMD = 0.44 [0.21;0.67], P <0.0001). Overall, total T was associated with a better sexual function (SMD = 0.55 [0.28;0.82)], P < 0.0001), with similar results obtained when poor quality studies were removed. Age showed a negative relationship with the overall outcome. No differences were found when stratifying the studies according to menopausal status, type of menopause, age at menopause, use of hormonal replacement therapy, relationship status, method for T measurement, phase of the menstrual cycle or use of hormonal contraception. The meta-analysis of T derivatives (free T and FAI) also showed a significant, moderate association with sexual desire. In contrast, DHEAS seems not to exert any significant influence on desire, whilst showing a positive association with global sexual function. Clinical implications: Endogenous androgens show a moderate association with a better sexual function in women; however, the role of psychological, relational and other hormonal factors should not be overlooked. Strengths & limitations: This represents the first attempt at meta-analyzing data available on the topic. A significant publication bias was found for total T. Conclusion: There appears to be a moderate association between total T and sexual desire/global sexual function, which is confirmed, although weak, in studies employing liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). Similar results on desire were obtained for free T and FAI. DHEAS only showed a positive association with global sexual function. More research is needed. Maseroli E and Vignozzi L. Are Endogenous Androgens Linked to Female Sexual Function? A Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Are Endogenous Androgens Linked to Female Sexual Function? A Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis / Vignozzi. - In: JOURNAL OF SEXUAL MEDICINE. - ISSN 1743-6095. - STAMPA. - 19:(2022), pp. 553-568. [10.1016/j.jsxm.2022.01.515]

Are Endogenous Androgens Linked to Female Sexual Function? A Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis

Vignozzi
2022

Abstract

Background: The benefits of treatment with testosterone (T) in women with loss of desire suggest that low androgens may distinguish women with sexual dysfunction (SD) from others; however, evidence on this point is lacking. Aim: To answer the question: is there an association between endogenous levels of androgens and sexual function in women? Methods: An extensive search was performed in MEDLINE, Embase and PsycInfo. Four separate meta-analyses were conducted for total T, free T, Free Androgen Index (FAI), and Dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS). Cohort, cross-sectional, and prospective studies were included. Outcomes: The main outcome was the association between endogenous androgens and sexual desire. Global sexual function was considered as a secondary outcome. The effect measure was expressed as standardized mean difference (SMD). Results: The meta-analysis on total T included 34 studies involving 3,268 women, mean age 36.5 years. In 11 studies, a significant association was found between sexual desire, measured by validated psychometric instruments, and total T (SMD = 0.59 [0.29;0.88], P < 0.0001), with a moderate effect. The association with global sexual function (n = 12 studies) was also significant (SMD = 0.44 [0.21;0.67], P <0.0001). Overall, total T was associated with a better sexual function (SMD = 0.55 [0.28;0.82)], P < 0.0001), with similar results obtained when poor quality studies were removed. Age showed a negative relationship with the overall outcome. No differences were found when stratifying the studies according to menopausal status, type of menopause, age at menopause, use of hormonal replacement therapy, relationship status, method for T measurement, phase of the menstrual cycle or use of hormonal contraception. The meta-analysis of T derivatives (free T and FAI) also showed a significant, moderate association with sexual desire. In contrast, DHEAS seems not to exert any significant influence on desire, whilst showing a positive association with global sexual function. Clinical implications: Endogenous androgens show a moderate association with a better sexual function in women; however, the role of psychological, relational and other hormonal factors should not be overlooked. Strengths & limitations: This represents the first attempt at meta-analyzing data available on the topic. A significant publication bias was found for total T. Conclusion: There appears to be a moderate association between total T and sexual desire/global sexual function, which is confirmed, although weak, in studies employing liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). Similar results on desire were obtained for free T and FAI. DHEAS only showed a positive association with global sexual function. More research is needed. Maseroli E and Vignozzi L. Are Endogenous Androgens Linked to Female Sexual Function? A Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis.
2022
19
553
568
Vignozzi
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Utilizza questo identificatore per citare o creare un link a questa risorsa: https://hdl.handle.net/2158/1261353
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