"Their sexual behaviour was entirely unaffected by the same inflammatory pain."
Toronto, April 23 - Do not blame her for no action tonight as women in pain often say no to sex as pain from inflammation or some other reason greatly reduces sexual motivation in female than male, research reveals.
In a first such study, researchers from McGill University and Concordia University in Montreal have investigated the direct impact of pain on sexual behaviour in mice.
We know from previous studies that women's sexual desire is far more dependent on context than men's - but whether this is due to biological or social/cultural factors, such as upbringing and media influence, is not known, said Jeffrey Mogil, a psychology professor at McGill.
Our finding that female mice, too, show pain-inhibited sexual desire suggests there may be an evolutionary biology explanation for these effects in humans - and not simply a sociocultural one, he added.
To reach this conclusion, the researchers placed mice in a mating chamber divided by a barrier with openings too small for male mice to squeeze through.
This enabled the females to decide whether, and for how long, to spend time with a male partner.
Female mice in pain spent less time on the male side of the testing chamber, and, as a result, less sexual behaviour occurred.
The researchers found that the sexual motivation of the female mice could be revived, however with a pain-relieving drug or with desire-enhancing drugs.
Male mice were tested in an undivided chamber in which they had free access to a female partner in heat.
Their sexual behaviour was entirely unaffected by the same inflammatory pain.
This research provides an animal model of pain-inhibited sexual desire that would help scientists study this important symptom of chronic pain, said psychology professor Yitzchak Binik from McGill University.