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Dopamine as a potential diagnostic biomarker in women's sexual dysfunction

La dopamina como potencial biomarcador diagnóstico en la disfunción sexual de la mujer

  • Azza G. Farag1,*,
  • Eman A. Badr2,*,
  • Wesam A. Abdel-Aal1,*,
  • Shaimaa Y. Abdel-Raouf3,*,
  • Ziad Elmadbouh1,2,*,
  • Mustafa Elshaib1,2,*,
  • Ibrahim Elmadbouh2,*,

1Dermatology, Andrology and STDs Department, Faculty of Medicine, Menoufia University, P.O. Box 32514, Shebin ElKom, Egypt

2Medical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Menoufia University, P.O. Box 32514, Shebin ElKom, Egypt

3Public Health and Community Medicine Department, Faculty of Medicine, Menoufia University, P.O. Box 32514, Shebin ElKom, Egypt

DOI: 10.22514/j.androl.2024.002 Vol.22,Issue 1,March 2024 pp.8-16

Submitted: 12 December 2022 Accepted: 10 November 2023

Published: 30 March 2024

*Corresponding Author(s): Azza G. Farag E-mail:
*Corresponding Author(s): Eman A. Badr E-mail:
*Corresponding Author(s): Wesam A. Abdel-Aal E-mail:
*Corresponding Author(s): Shaimaa Y. Abdel-Raouf E-mail:
*Corresponding Author(s): Ziad Elmadbouh E-mail:
*Corresponding Author(s): Mustafa Elshaib E-mail:
*Corresponding Author(s): Ibrahim Elmadbouh E-mail:


Dopamine and prolactin are the key mediators involved in sexual function in both males and females, but the role of dopamine in female sexual dysfunction (FSD) is still unclear. The aim was to investigate the possible role of dopamine and their relationship with sex steroid hormones (estrogen, progesterone and dehydroepiandrosterone; DHEA) and prolactin levels in Egyptian women suffering from sexual dysfunction. This study included 84 women having sexual dysfunction (FSD group) and 84 normal sexual function (control group). All women were subjected to the questionnaire to assess their demographic and gynecological data as well as female sexual function index (FSFI). Blood samples were collected from all women for measuring serum estradiol, progesterone, DHEA, prolactin and dopamine levels. FSD patients had significantly higher serum progesterone and DHEA and prolactin levels; while significantly lower dopamine and estradiol levels versus controls (p < 0.001). In all women, dopamine level appeared as a predictor of FSD at cut-off point ≤8.8 ng/mL with sensitivity (75%), specificity (92%) and accuracy (83%) (p < 0.001). The low levels of dopamine were associated with significantly higher prevalence in patients with low estradiol (p < 0.001) and high progesterone (p < 0.001), DHEA (p < 0.001) and prolactin (p = 0.004). Also, dopamine was significantly positive correlation with arousal score (r = 0.16, p = 0.04), and negative correlation with age (r = −0.31, p < 0.001), pain score (r = −0.19, p = 0.01), DHEA (r = −0.45, p < 0.001) and prolactin (r = −0.28, p < 0.001). Low serum dopamine level is a potential diagnostic biomarker in women’s sexual dysfunction and their association with high prolactin and sex steroid hormones dysfunction.


La dopamina y la prolactina son los mediadores clave involucrados en la función sexual tanto en hombres como en mujeres, pero el papel de la dopamina en la disfunción sexual femenina (FSD) aún no está claro. El objetivo fue investigar el posible papel de la dopamina y su relación con las hormonas esteroides sexuales (estrógenos, progesterona y dehidroepiandrosterona; DHEA) y los niveles de prolactina en mujeres egipcias que padecen disfunción sexual. Este estudio incluyó a 84 mujeres con disfunción sexual (grupo DSF) y 84 con función sexual normal (grupo control). Todas las mujeres fueron sometidas al cuestionario para evaluar sus datos demográficos y ginecológicos, así como el índice de función sexual femenina (FSFI). Se recolectaron muestras de sangre de todas las mujeres para medir los niveles séricos de estradiol, progesterona, DHEA, prolactina y dopamina. Los pacientes con FSD tenían niveles séricos de progesterona, DHEA y prolactina significativamente más altos; mientras que los niveles de dopamina y estradiol fueron significativamente más bajos que los controles (p < 0.001). En todas las mujeres, el nivel de dopamina apareció como predictor de DSF en el punto de corte ≤8.8 ng/mL con sensibilidad (75%), especificidad (92%) y precisión (83%) (p < 0.001). Los niveles bajos de dopamina se asociaron con una prevalencia significativamente mayor en pacientes con estradiol bajo (p < 0.001) y progesterona alta (p < 0.001), DHEA (p < 0.001) y prolactina (p = 0.004). Además, la dopamina tuvo una correlación significativamente positiva con la puntuación de excitación (r = 0.16, p = 0.04) y una correlación negativa con la edad (r = −0.31, p < 0.001), la puntuación del dolor (r = −0.19, p = 0.01), DHEA (r = −0.45, p < 0.001) y prolactina (r = −0.28, p < 0.001). El nivel bajo de dopamina sérica es un biomarcador diagnóstico potencial en la disfunción sexual de la mujer y su asociación con la disfunción de hormonas esteroides sexuales y prolactina alta.


Dopamine; Sex hormone; Female sexual dysfunction

Palabras Clave

Dopamina; Hormonas sexuales; Disfunciones sexuales femeninas

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Azza G. Farag,Eman A. Badr,Wesam A. Abdel-Aal,Shaimaa Y. Abdel-Raouf,Ziad Elmadbouh,Mustafa Elshaib,Ibrahim Elmadbouh. Dopamine as a potential diagnostic biomarker in women's sexual dysfunctionLa dopamina como potencial biomarcador diagnóstico en la disfunción sexual de la mujer. Revista Internacional de Andrología. 2024. 22(1);8-16.


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