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Am Fam Physician. 2008 Mar 1;77(5):635-42.

Diagnosis and treatment of female sexual dysfunction.

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1
Department of Family Medicine, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Appleton, Wisconsin 54911, USA. jennifer.frank@fammed.wisc.edu

Erratum in

  • Am Fam Physician. 2009 Feb 1;79(3):180.

Abstract

Female sexual complaints are common, occurring in approximately 40 percent of women. Decreased desire is the most common complaint. Normal versus abnormal sexual functioning in women is poorly understood, although the concept of normal female sexual function continues to develop. A complete history combined with a physical examination is warranted for the evaluation of women with sexual complaints or concerns. Although laboratory evaluation is rarely helpful in guiding diagnosis or treatment, it may be indicated in women with abnormal physical examination findings or suspected comorbidities. The PLISSIT (Permission, Limited Information, Specific Suggestions, Intensive Therapy) or ALLOW (Ask, Legitimize, Limitations, Open up, Work together) method can be used to facilitate discussions about sexual concerns and initiation of treatment. Developments in the treatment of male erectile dysfunction have led to investigation of pharmacotherapy for the treatment of female sexual dysfunction. Although sexual therapy and education (e.g., cognitive behavior therapy, individual and couple therapy, physiotherapy) form the basis of treatment, there is limited research demonstrating the benefit of hormonal and nonhormonal drugs. Testosterone improves sexual function in postmenopausal women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder, although data on its long-term safety and effectiveness are lacking. Estrogen improves dyspareunia associated with vulvovaginal atrophy in postmenopausal women. Phosphodiesterase inhibitors have been shown to have limited benefit in small subsets of women with sexual dysfunction.

PMID:
18350761
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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