Sexual dysfunction occurs in both women and men, although less attention has been paid to female sexual dysfunction. This article reminds primary care physicians that they must assume a proactive role in the diagnosis and treatments of these disorders. Traditionally, there are four areas of sexual problems in women: desire disorders, arousal disorders, orgasmic disorders, and sexual pain disorders. Desire disorders include a lack of interest in having sex or a lessening in the desire to have sex. Arousal disorders are when a woman does not feel a sexual response in her body or begins to respond but cannot maintain the response. Orgasmic disorders occur when she cannot have an orgasm or experiences pain during an orgasm; sex pain disorders are characterized by pain during or immediately following intercourse. Long-term medical diseases, minor ailments, medications, and psychosocial difficulties are etiologic (causative) factors in female sexual dysfunction. Gynecologic problems and cancers are also frequent sources of sexual dysfunction. The article stresses that patient education and reassurance, with early diagnosis and intervention, are essential for effective treatment.

 

Female Sexual Dysfunction

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