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Front Neuroendocrinol. 2017 Apr;45:11-17. doi: 10.1016/j.yfrne.2017.02.001. Epub 2017 Feb 22.

Evidence-based treatments for low sexual desire in women.

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University of British Columbia, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Canada. Electronic address:


Low sexual desire is the most common sexual complaint in women, with multinational studies finding that at least a third of women experience low sexual desire. No single etiology for the development of Female Sexual Interest/Arousal Disorder, the diagnosis laid out by the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, has been established. There has been considerable interest in pharmacological approaches to improving low desire, and agents targeting a range of neurotransmitters have been examined. To date, only flibanserin, a centrally acting medication targeting the serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine systems, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Despite statistically significant effects on sexual desire, sexual distress, and sexually satisfying events, side-effects are significant, and flibanserin is completely contraindicated with alcohol. As such, there has been renewed interest in advancing the science of psychological approaches to low desire, including cognitive behavioral and mindfulness therapies.


Cognitive behavioral therapy; Flibanserin; Mindfulness; Sexual desire; Sexual dysfunction; Sexual interest/arousal disorder

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