Published January 13, 2015
It appears that mind over matter may be the key to achieving sexual satisfaction, according to one study.
Researchers from the University of Southern California and Yale University reached this conclusion after studying the "satisfying" sex lives of cervical cancer survivors who had both ovaries removed.
Removing the ovaries, according to background offered in a study published in the July issue of the Journal of Women's Health, reduces or eliminates circulation of the hormone testosterone, which plays a factor in both male and female sexuality.
“Our findings, which demonstrate the existence of widespread interest and satisfaction with sex in the absence of a crucial hormone underscore the importance of non-hormonal components of sexual interest and satisfaction,” said lead author Howard Greenwald, a USC professor with the School of Policy, Planning, and Development, in a news release. “That may mean the key to sexual satisfaction is less about biology and more about psychology.”
Women often struggle with what they perceive to be an assault on their sexual organs and identity in the months and years following cervical cancer surgery, Greenwald said.
But researchers found that after six years most women’s sexual desire and enjoyment rebounds.
Based on interviews with 179 women -- between the ages of 29 to 69 --, six to 28 years after their initial cancer diagnosis, the researchers found that:
— More than 80 percent of the cervical cancer survivors reported being sexually active.
— 81.4 percent said they “sometimes,” “almost always” or “always” desired sexual activity.
— 90.9 percent indicated they enjoyed sexual activity at least some of the time.