Hamilton, July 18, NZPA
A Waikato study into the sex drive of very hairy women has shattered some myths about their condition.
Excessively hairy women don’t necessarily have a high sex drive, Waikato researchers have found.
Conventional wisdom was that women with hirsutism, causing abnormal hairiness, acne and often obesity through high levels of male hormones, also had higher libidos, said post-doctoral researcher Helen Conaglen.
This was challenged by 28 women in a study Dr Conaglen and her husband, Waikato Hospital endocrinologist John Conaglen, presented at Paris’ World Congress of Sexology last month.
"It’s assumed that women with increased androgen have increased sexual desire.
"We found that women with hirsutism on average had lower sexual desire than a volunteer sample of similarly aged women.
"When you think about it, some of the aspects of this condition could lead to a lower sense of sexual self-worth," said Hamilton-based Dr Conaglen.
Nineteen of the women in the study continued to feel bad about their bodies, even after anti-androgen drugs dramatically reduced their excessive hair.
"There is a psychological reason for this – we perceive improvements over a long time and adjust to them. And then we might expect more improvements."
On average, the drugs lowered the women’s sexual desire, although some felt more desire.
Dr Conaglen said the study would help specialists advise their patients on what to expect from the drugs.
NZPA HNT am gt ©18/07/01 10-38NZ