Brief Group Mindfulness Training Significantly Improves Women’s Sexual Response

Researchers from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, tested the effectiveness of mindfulness-based therapy, either immediately or after a 3-month waiting period, in women seeking treatment for low levels of sexual desire and arousal.

There is increasing evidence that mindfulness, defined as non-judgmental present moment awareness, may improve women's sexual functioning.

Women subjects participated in four 90-min group sessions that included mindfulness meditation, cognitive therapy, and education. A total of 117 women were assigned to either the immediate treatment (n = 68, mean age 40.8 yrs) or delayed treatment (n = 49, mean age 42.2 yrs) group, in which they received two pre-treatment baseline assessments followed by treatment.

A total of 95 women completed assessments through to the 6-month follow-up period. Compared to the delayed treatment control group, treatment significantly improved sexual desire, sexual arousal, lubrication, sexual satisfaction, and overall sexual functioning.

Sex-related distress significantly decreased in both conditions, regardless of treatment, as did orgasmic difficulties and depressive symptoms.
Increases in mindfulness and a reduction in depressive symptoms predicted improvements in sexual desire.

The investigators conclude that mindfulness-based group therapy significantly improved sexual desire and other indices of sexual response, and should be considered in the treatment of women's sexual dysfunction.

Citation: Brotto LA1, Basson R2. Group mindfulness-based therapy significantly improves sexual desire in women. Behaviour Research and Therapy. 2014 Jun;57:43-54. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2014.04.001. Epub 2014 Apr 18. [email protected]