Female Sexual Dysfunction

Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD) is defined as persistent, recurrent problems with sexual response, desire, orgasm or pain — that distress you or strain your relationship with your partner1. FSD is thought to affect about 40% of women at some point in their lifetime and as many as 80% of postmenopausal women.

Female Sexual Dysfunction is an umbrella term that includes a spectrum of different problems that women may experience either alone or in combination, including2:

  • Low sexual desire is also known as hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD)
  • Female sexual arousal disorder (FASD)
  • Orgasmic disorders
  • Sexual pain disorders

For women suffering from Female Sexual Dysfunction, a visit to their Health Care Professional can provide helpful answers and also identify treatment options. Your HCP will first want to talk with you about the problems you are experiencing to determine which type(s) of FSD are affecting you. Your HCP may also do an exam to determine if there are specific causes of your FSD. The exam may include a general physical, blood tests, and a pelvic exam based to determine if there are any physical causes of your FSD.

If treatment is indicated, there are many different options available to women struggling with FSD. Over the counter, lubricants are often recommended to make intercourse more comfortable. There are also FDA approved medications that can reduce the pain some women experience on intercourse. There is even prescription medication that has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of a persistent state of low sexual desire in women. Finally, there are other prescription treatments that can help address some of the physical causes of FSD. Finally, devices such as the Eros may be helpful. Click here to learn more. 

Women suffering from FSD should know that there are experts in the field of sexual medicine who can help them. One excellent resource is the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health. This organization has a “find a provider” function that can be accessed here.

  1. Mayo Clinic web site accessed 12/2019
  2. Kyan J. Allahdadi, Rita C.A. Tostes and R. Clinton Webb, Female Sexual Dysfunction: Therapeutic Options and Experimental Challenges, Cardiovascular & Hematological Agents in Medicinal Chemistry (2009) 7: 260. 

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