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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2010 Sep;1205:254-61. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2010.05680.x.

Menopause and sexuality: key issues in premature menopause and beyond.

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Center of Gynecology and Medical Sexology, H. San Raffaele Resnati, Milan, Italy.


Woman's sexuality encompasses sexual identity, sexual function, and sexual relationships. It is modulated throughout life by life and reproduction-related events, health, relationships, and sociocultural variables. The aging process and menopause are two potent contributors to female sexual dysfunction. The earlier the menopause, the more severe and complex the impact on sexuality is. The younger the woman, the less she realizes the different key goals of her life cycle (falling in love, having a satisfying sexual life, forming a stable couple, getting married, having a family) and the more pervasive the consequences on her sexual identity, sexual function, and sexual relationship can be. Premature menopause is an amplified paradigm of the complex impact menopause can have on women's and couple's sexuality. This paper will focus on biologically based sexual issues, namely desire, arousal, orgasm, and pain disorders, as well as key questions encountered in infertility. The concepts of "symptom inducer" and "symptom carrier" will also be addressed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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