WHO Guide to Mental and Neurological Health in Primary Care
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Diagnostic features

Sexual dysfunction can cause marked distress and interpersonal difficulty. Common sexual disorders presenting in women are:

  • lack or loss of sexual desire, sexual aversion
  • sexual arousal disorder (inability to attain/maintain an adequate physiological response to sexual excitement)

  • sexual pain disorders:
    - vaginismus (involuntary spasm of vaginal muscles on attempted penetration accompanied by a fear or phobia - the phobia can rarely occur without the spasm)
    - dyspareunia (recurrent genital pain associated with sexual intercourse - superficial vulval, vaginal or deep pelvic)

  • orgasmic disorder (delay in, or absence of, orgasm or climax).

Distinguish between lifelong versus acquired, generalized versus situational, psychological versus combined factors.

Last edited: 4/2/2004


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2003-4 World Health Organization - UK Collaborating Centre