Bariatric surgery improves sexual function in obese patients

David Goitein*, Alex Zendel, Lior Segev, Anya Feigin, Douglas Zippel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Obesity causes specific sexual problems, including diminished sexual desire, poor performance and avoidance of sexual encounters. Objectives: To systematically evaluate the effect of bariatric surgery on patients’ sexual function as compared to their preoperative status. Methods: Bariatric surgery candidates were given a validated sexual function questionnaire the day before surgery and again 6 months after surgery. Females were polled with the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) and males with the Brief Sexual Function Inventory (BSFI). Statistical analysis was performed to elucidate differences in response to the questionnaires. Results: The study population included 34 females and 14 males. Mean age and body mass index (BMI) were 40.2 ± 10.2 years and 43.4 ± 5.3 kg/m2, respectively. Postoperative BMI was 31.4 ± 4.9 kg/m2 (P < 0.001). Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy was performed in 36 patients and laparoscopic Roux-y gastric bypass in 12. In females, the FSFI index rose significantly from 24 to 30 (P = 0.006), indicating increased sexual performance and satisfaction. In males the BSFI increased from 40.2 to 43.9 but did not reach statistical significance (P = 0.08). However, general satisfaction, desire and erection were each significantly improved within the BSFI. Conclusions: In addition to the well-documented medical and quality-of-life benefits of bariatric surgery, there is also clear improvement in patients’ sexual function, both physical and psychosexual.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)616-619
Number of pages4
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2015


  • Bariatric surgery
  • Laparoscopic Roux-Y gastric bypass (LYRGP)
  • Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG)
  • Obesity
  • Sexual function


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