Sensory functions decline with age, and it might impact sexual functions too. Importantly, the olfactory sense has a strong impact on sexual motivation. Thus, the study aims to understand the association between impaired olfactory function and decreased sexual motivation and activity in the older generation.
The researchers used cross-sectional analysis on the nationally representative sample consisting of community-dwelling old citizens in the USA. The study measured two modalities, namely odor identification and sensitivity to n-butanol. The participants responded to a survey regarding sexual motivation, satisfaction, and activity of their recent relationships.
The result showed that olfactory dysfunction had an effect on sexuality. The decreased olfactory functions were associated with reduced sexual motivation and lower emotional satisfaction. However, it did not affect the frequency of the activity or pleasure derived from the same. Since it is a cross-sectional study, it is not possible to derive causality.
Olfactory dysfunction has a positive association with sexual motivation and satisfaction. Potentially treating the root cause of olfactory dysfunction can improve the quality of life in older citizens. This link is potentially due to the evolutionarily conserved neuro links between sexuality and olfaction.