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Ann Acad Med Singapore. 2008 Mar;37(3):215-23.

Care of women in menopause: sexual function, dysfunction and therapeutic modalities.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, National University Hospital, Singapore.



The physiological changes that occur in menopause alter sexual function and affect well-being. Hormonal changes contribute significantly to reduced sexual function in older women and sexual dysfunction may well be amenable to treatment with exogenous hormones or other agents.


Relevant clinical studies were identified by a computerised literature search. The collated data were presented to fellow gynaecologists for review, analysis of results and discussion in a series of meetings dedicated to finding the best evidence in menopause management. The evidence was assessed and used to prepare guidelines around the management of women who are affected by sexual dysfunction in menopause.


Hormone therapy benefits many women who have dyspareunia related to vaginal atrophy, reduced libido and decreased satisfaction, particularly if these symptoms adversely affect their quality of life. Alternative agents such as tibolone and sildenafil citrate can be useful adjuncts.


It is increasingly important to recognise postmenopausal sexual dysfunction. Treatment of this syndrome must be individualised to the specific complaints of each woman. Hormones and other agents are relevant treatment options for properly-selected women.

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