Managing female sexual dysfunction

Capsule:
Female sexual dysfunctions (FSDs) may present as major emotional disturbances adversely affecting family and workplace. Although highly effective treatments exist, physicians frequently do not ask women about FSD.

Author:
John E. Buster, M.D.

Volume 100, Issue 4, Pages 905-915, October 2013

Abstract:

Female sexual dysfunctions (FSDs) range from short-term aggravations to major emotional disturbances adversely affecting family and workplace. This review highlights diagnosis and management of the four most widely diagnosed FSDs. It initially focuses on hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) as a driving force at the heart of all other FSDs; nothing happens without sexual desire. Successful resolution of HSDD frequently facilitates resolution of other disorders. Central to understanding HSDD is the impact of aging female sexual endocrinology and its effect on both prevalence and expression patterns of FSD. Advances in this field have enabled introduction of some the most effective treatments yet described for HSDD. Sexual arousal disorder, though commonly affected by the same factors as HSDD, is heavily associated with psychotropic drugs and mood elevators. Orgasmic disorder is frequently the downstream result of other sexual dysfunctions, particularly HSDD, or the result of a major psychosexual trauma. Successful management of the underlying disorder often resolves orgasmic disorder. Sexual pain disorder is frequently the result of a gynecologic disorder, such as endometriosis, that can be substantially managed through successful treatment of that disorder. This article ends with the article’s most important note: how to initiate the conversation.

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