A women’s low resting heart rate variability may be associated with sexual dysfunction, a study published in Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback has shown.
Heart rate variability is a measure of autonomic nervous system activity. Low resting heart rate variability has been linked to conditions such as depression, anxiety, alcohol dependence, and erectile dysfunction in men. Psychologists from The University of Texas at Austin analyzed heart rate variability and self-reported data using the Female Sexual Function Index (n=72) to examine overall sexual functioning in women aged 18–39.
Data revealed that women with below average heart rate variability were more likely to experience difficulties with sexual arousal (P<0.001) in addition to general sexual dysfunction (P<0.001).
The authors conclude that using this method may provide clinicians a low-cost and non-intrusive way to assess a woman’s risk for sexual dysfunction.
The study was supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
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