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Eur Urol. 2000 Jul;38(1):20-9.

Anatomy and physiology of female sexual function and dysfunction: classification, evaluation and treatment options.

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Women's Sexual Health Clinic, Department of Urology, Boston University School of Medicine, MA, USA.


Female sexual dysfunction is a significant age-related, progressive and highly prevalent problem that affects a substantial number of women in the United States. The female sexual response cycle is initiated by neurotransmitter-mediated vascular and nonvascular smooth muscle relaxation resulting in increased pelvic blood flow, vaginal lubrication, and clitoral and labial engorgement. These mechanisms are mediated by a combination of neuromuscular and vasocongestive events. Physiological impairments that interfere with the normal female sexual response bring about complaints associated with diminished sexual arousal, libido, vaginal lubrication, genital sensation, and ability to achieve orgasm. Therapy aimed at restoring hormone levels as well as genital blood flow will be discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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