Effect of Body Weight on Sexual Function in Men and Women

  • Jenna N. Bates
  • Alexander W. PastuszakEmail author
  • Mohit Khera
Urology, Gynecology, and Endocrinology (J Simon and M Luria, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Urology, Gynecology, and Endocrinology
  2. Topical Collection on Urology, Gynecology, and Endocrinology


Purpose of Review

Obesity is a growing problem worldwide. This review aims to summarize the literature on the effects of weight on sexual function in both men and women from the past 5 years.

Recent Findings

In recent population-based studies of men and women, no relationship between weight and sexual function was identified. However, in studies of special populations such as women with gestational diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), pelvic organ prolapse, or urinary incontinence, weight affected some aspects of sexual function. In women, surgical, but not non-surgical, weight loss was associated with resolution of some aspects of sexual dysfunction. In contrast, in men, both surgical and non-surgical weight loss improved sexual function.


Weight plays a role in sexual dysfunction in both men and women. Bariatric surgery is linked to improved sexual function in both genders. However, more work is needed to fully understand the relationship between weight and sexual function.


Sexual dysfunction Bariatric surgery Female sexual dysfunction Weight Weight loss 


Role of the Funding Source

A.W.P. is a National Institutes of Health K08 Scholar supported by a Mentored Career Development Award (K08DK115835-01) from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. This work is also supported in part through a Urology Care Foundation Rising Stars in Urology Award (to A.W.P.)

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Jenna Bates declares no potential conflicts of interest. Alexander Pastuszak reports serving as a consultant to Antares, Endo Pharmaceuticals, and Boston Scientific. Mohit Khera reports serving as a consultant to AbbVie, Coloplast, Endo Pharmaceuticals, and Boston Scientific.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jenna N. Bates
    • 1
  • Alexander W. Pastuszak
    • 2
    Email author
  • Mohit Khera
    • 3
  1. 1.Baylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Surgery – UrologyUniversity of Utah School of MedicineSalt Lake CityUSA
  3. 3.Scott Department of UrologyBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA

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