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Assessment and Diagnosis of Female Sexual Dysfunction—Room for Improvement

Assessment and Diagnosis of Female Sexual Dysfunction—Room for Improvement


Research presented at the Annual American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) Meeting in Denver shows that physicians currently lack the tools and information needed when working with patients with low sexual desire.

In one study, a multi-site team assessed communication between 28 doctors and patients about distressed decreased sexual desire. Except for partner issues and pain, agreement levels were poor when assessing factors that affect sexual desire. Over half (55%) the pairs disagreed on the severity of distress the patients were suffering, and physicians consistently underestimated the distress levels of their patients.

Another study of about 1500 health care providers responding to a Web-based survey found that a majority of physicians are interested in the development of validated simple forms to help screen for female sexual dysfunction. In the survey, most physicians responded that they were not familiar with existing screening tools for female sexual dysfunction, even though more than half (60%) reported the use of screening instruments in their practice and 54% reported screening their patients for female sexual dysfunction.

Roger Lobo, MD, President-elect of ASRM, noted the importance of sexuality in women’s health, and stated that “our health care system allows precious little time to explore such a sensitive area. Research like this will help physicians develop the tools they need to assess their patient’s sexual health.”


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