Diagnosing Female Sexual Dysfunction
Sexual functioning, for a large proportion of people, plays a significant role in daily life. For many, being able to have a healthy sexual relationship with a partner brings feelings of closeness and intimacy. Disruptions to this functioning can cause feelings of embarrassment and hopelessness. For women who struggle with female sexual dysfunction (FSD), the shame and guilt that comes along with the condition may make them weary of reporting symptoms to a doctor. Regardless, it is helpful to speak with a professional. If you are struggling with this type of female dysfunction, you should consult your doctor so that a formal set of diagnostic tests can be administered, which is the only way you can find a treatment for female sexual dysfunction.
Female Sexual Dysfunction Symptoms
FSD is actually a group of disorders that affect a woman’s ability to function sexually at a level typical to the individual. At this current point in time, it is estimated that 25-63% of adult women in the United States have some form of female sexual dysfunction, notes Medscape. While any woman may deal with this condition, it occurs most commonly in those who are between the ages of 45 and 64, says Healthywomen.org. There are multiple types of FSD:
- Hypoactive sexual desire disorder: Low or absent libido
- Sexual aversion disorder: Aversion to sexual activity
- Sexual arousal disorder: Difficulty becoming aroused
- Female orgasmic disorder: Difficulty reaching orgasm
- Dyspareunia: Pelvic pain during intercourse
- Vaginismus: Pain muscle spasms of the vaginal wall
Diagnosing Female Sexual Dysfunction
Diagnosing female sexual dysfunction should include a comprehensive examination of physical, mental and emotional health. This is due to the fact that FSD may be caused by a number of things, including underlying medical and psychological issues, as well as prescription and non-prescription drugs. Many women may be embarrassed about discussing sexual problems with a doctor, but it is beneficial to do so, as it will allow you to receive the best course of treatment possible. In order to identify symptoms of FSD, researchers have created an assessment tool known as the Brief Sexual Symptom Checklist, or BSSC for short. This checklist is used as an initial evaluation tool so that your practitioner can get a better idea of your sexual satisfaction and functioning. It is a self-administered list, consisting of only four questions:
- Are you satisfied with your sexual function? (Yes or no).
- How long have you been dissatisfied with your sexual function?
- Mark which of the problems you are having, and note which one is most bothersome.
- Little or no interest in sex
- Decreased genital sensation (feeling)
- Decreased vaginal lubrication (dryness)
- Problem reaching orgasm
- Pain during sex
4. Would you like to talk about it with your doctor? (Yes or no)
After you have filled out the BSSC, you can (if you so chose) discuss your specific symptoms with your doctor. A complete physical exam should be performed, as symptoms may stem from biological problems. By performing a pelvic exam, your doctor will be able to determine if you have an infection, low hormone levels, tenderness or any other issues that could negatively alter female labido. You may also undergo:
- Thyroid exams
- Breast exams
- Blood pressure and pulse measurements
Psychological Assessment and Medication History
In addition to physical examinations, it may be important that your practitioner assesses your mental state, as well. Mental disorders, like depression, can lower female labido and disrupt sexual functionality. As well, medications used to treat mental conditions can cause female dysfunction of the sexual variety. Good examples of psychotropic medications that can have this effect are drugs classified as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s); this prescription medication is used in the treatment of depression and other mental disorders, and is known to decrease female labido and male libido alike. According to American Family Physician, SSRI’s lower libido in 30 to 50% of users. In order to ascertain if your issues are due the above factors, a complete history of mental conditions and medications will need to be collected. Treating underlying psychological conditions, or altering medications may help to increase female labido.
Female Sexual Dysfunction Treatment Los Angeles
Treating FSD in order to increase female labido may be challenging, as the condition can arise for multiple reasons. This means that creating a standardized cure is difficult. However, researchers conduct Los Angeles clinical trials in hopes of doing exactly that. A clinical study employs the use of volunteer subjects, who are exposed to experimental drugs, therapies and other treatments. The aim is to find the most useful tools for combatting conditions that negatively impact female labido. If you chose to participate in a medical trial, you may be among the first people to receive a ground-breaking treatment. Further still, you will have access to a team of professionals who can advise you on the best management techniques for your condition. Lastly, those who take part in these studies are often financially compensated for time and effort.
Female sexual dysfunction is a group of disorders that affects different areas of a woman’s sex life. It is important to see a practitioner, so that you can receive a formal diagnosis. Though you may feel embarrassed, a professional may be able to offer you valuable tips and treatments that help increase female labido.
To learn more about clinical studies Los Angeles for female sexual dysfunction, contact the Pacific Institute of Medical Research, which is an independent clinical research site specializing in psychiatry since 1982. Visit us online or call us at (310) 208-7144.