Sexual motivations during the menopausal transition among Iranian women: A qualitative inquiry 11 Medical and Health Sciences 1117 Public Health and Health Services

Zeinab Javadivala, Effat Merghati-Khoei, Carol Underwood, Mojgan Mirghafourvand, Hamid Allahverdipour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Women's sexuality may be adversely affected during the menopausal transition. This exploratory qualitative study was conducted to explore how women assign meaning to and process sexual motivation during the menopausal transition. Methods: We purposefully approached 22 married women ages 44-59 (52.81 ± 3.6 years) in urban health care centers and workplaces in Tabriz city, located in northwest Iran. Individual face-to-face interviews were performed at a place and time convenient to the women. All interviews were audio recorded and then transcribed to create verbatim written accounts. Inspiring Graneheim and Lundman approach, we employed conventional content analysis to derive coding categories directly from our row data. Findings: Four main themes emerged from data analysis: "Diminished sexual capacity" (effect of menopause, Illnesses associated with mid-life, desire discrepancy); "intimate coupling" (lack of physical and/or emotional intimacy, couple communication and romance); "sociocultural scripts" (sexual script, parental responsibilities); and "sense of youthfulness" (having an active and happy life, maintaining physically attractiveness). Conclusion: The qualitative findings suggest that providing sexual health education and counseling, to encourage critical discussions regarding current sociocultural scripts and to create an environment that would enable men and women alike to adopt a healthy and happy lifestyle for eliminating barriers and preserving and enhancing motivational factors associated with sexuality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number191
JournalBMC Women's Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 23 2018



  • Iranian women
  • Menopause
  • Sexual motivations
  • Sociocultural scripts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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