From Table to Bedroom: Nutritional Status, Dietary Interventions, and Women’s Sexual Function

Document Type


Publication Date


Journal Title

Current Sexual Health Reports


Purpose of Review

In this review, we summarize recent empirical evidence assessing the relationship between nutrition and female sexual dysfunction and give a broad interpretation of the effects.

Recent Findings

Dietary patterns that ensure adequate intake of shortfall nutrients may help to ameliorate reproductive problems associated with eating disorders, while supplementation in women with low vitamin D status improves sexual functioning. Combination treatments addressing body image concerns and maladaptive eating habits appear to be more effective for some eating disorder subtypes that result in malnutrition. For overweight and obese women, weight loss resulting from dietary changes and/or bariatric surgery tends to improve sexual interest, arousal, and activity. The metabolic perturbations that characterize diabetes mellitus and polycystic ovarian syndrome warrant nutritional interventions, and these lifestyle modifications often improve sexual functioning. Evidence for the use of specific dietary supplements to improve sexual responsivity in women has generally not been supported.


Nutritional status can elicit, exacerbate, or ameliorate sexual problems. Treatment of female sexual dysfunction may be enhanced by a multidisciplinary approach incorporating cutting-edge developments in nutrition science.