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A study, based on the experiences of 4,839 men and 6,669 women aged between 16-74, has found that women are more than twice as likely to lack interest in sex when living with a partner.

The study, published in BMJ Open for the third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles, found that 15 per cent of men and 34 per cent of women surveyed said they had lost interest in sex for three months or more in the previous 12 months.

For men, the lack of interest was greatest between the ages of 35-44, while for women it was between 55 and 64.

The most common causes cited were poor health and lack of emotional closeness in both women's and men's desire.

The study results read:

Among women only, lack of interest in sex was higher among those in a relationship of greater than one year in duration and those not sharing the same level of interest or preferences with a partner.

Common factors were also as follows:

Lacking interest in sex was more prevalent among men and women reporting sexually transmitted infection diagnoses (ever), non-volitional sex (ever) and holding sexual attitudes related to normative expectations about sex.

The researchers from the University of Southampton and University College London said there was no evidence that the menopause was a considerable factor for women surveyed.

They recommended looking at psychological factors rather than attempting to treat a lack of desire with drugs.


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