CURRENT RESEARCH PROJECTS
Nutrition and Sexual Functioning in Women
Many factors can impact on a woman's sexual functioning and satisfaction. While previous research suggests, that for example Body Mass Index (BMI) can influence a woman's sexuality not only via physiological means (e.g. hormonal) but also by altering her body image and self-esteem, no research so far has looked at the influence of the gut microbiome. Microbiome-wide association studies on large population cohorts have highlighted associations between the gut microbiome and multiple complex traits, including obesity, diabetes, hypertension, stress/anxiety, depression, sex hormonal disturbances and many more – most of which are previously reported correlates, determinants and/or mediators/moderators of sexual function and dysfunction. Yet, no research has explored the link between microbiome and human sexuality or FSD. It is very likely that the gut-brain axis, which includes bidirectional communication between intestinal microbiota and the central nervous system is implicated in FSD through various, yet to be determined, pathways.
Male and Female Masturbatory behaviour
Human masturbation is and has been a very heatedly and controversially discussed topic in human sexuality. Studies investigating aspects of human masturbatory behaviour and female sexual pleasure such as specific masturbation techniques or motivations remain very scarce. This lack of knowledge opens the door to further controversies and misconceptions. We are currently conducting two explorative studies in order to gain more insights into this non-reproductive sexual behaviour and to potentially offer an empiric base for future research.
Some people experience negative affect after sexual intercourse - a phenomenon termed “postcoital dysphoria (PCD)”. This condition is characterized by inexplicable feelings of tearfulness, sadness, and/or irritability. Because next to nothing is known about the condition we are currently conducting two large population studies assessing symptom manifestation, prevalence, and gender differences, as well as developing a questionnaire that will provide a standardized measure to further explore PCD and ensure the comparability of the findings across studies. To participate, please click on the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.de/r/postcoitaldysphoriaE
Ejaculation problems not only have negative impact on the men but can also affect the partner. We here intend to investigate the impact that various forms of ejaculatory problems (premature, delayed, an anejaculation) can have for the male patient but also for his partner (sexual and relationship satisfaction). As part of this study, we have recently published a paper on the importance of subjectively perceived ejaculation intensity and ejaculation volume for female sexual function and satisfaction.
Hyposexual desire disorder in men
While premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction are the most common sexual problems in men, we are able to observe a steady increase of men complaining about low libido. Yet, very little is known about this specific condition in men. In this study we intend to investigate prevalence, age dependency, risk and resiliency factors and impact/consequences of this phenomenon.
Female genital pain
Painful sexual intercourse or dyspareunia is a common complaint among women, affecting 12% - 21% of women. In this longitudinal study we are looking at the role of depression and pain catastrophizing (PC) in the development and maintenance of female sexual pain to find risk and resiliency factors.
Peyronie’s disease (PD) is an acquired fibrotic disorder often leading to penile deformities reesulting in penile curvature, shortening, and narrowing. In three current studies we are exploring: 1. the impact of PD on the female partner (sexual function, satisfaction and relationship quality); 2. Current strategies in the managment of PD in Europe; 3. Patient satisfaction with a multimodal treatment approach for PD.
Peyronie’s Equivalent in Women
Fibroproliferative changes similar to PD in men might also be present in women, yet has never been reported. The aim of the present study is to explore the link between connective tissue abnormalities and sexual problems in women and whether potential alterations are structurally and histologically comparable to the alterations in men with PD and whether they also impact on women’s clitoral excitability and orgasm ability.