Quirks & Quarks

Pain and Diminishing Desire

Pain diminishes sexual behaviour in female mice but not in males....

Pain diminishes sexual behaviour in female mice but not in males.

Pain is known to dampen sexual desire in humans - particularly in women. In fact, chronic pain and sexual dysfunction often accompany each other. But according to Dr. Jeffrey Mogil, the EP Taylor Professor of Pain Studies at McGill University, we haven't understood whether the roots of this connection are social and cultural or biological. By studying the impact of pain on sexual behaviour in mice, Dr. Mogil thinks he and his group have found evidence that it is biological. They found that mild to moderate inflammatory pain made female mice less interested in sex, but had no impact on males. This, he suggests, might help us understand the problems of sex and pain in humans, and how to effectively treat it.

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