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Female sexual dysfunction

Alternative names

Frigidity; Sexual dysfunction - female


Female sexual dysfunction describes women who are indifferent or hostile to sexual intercourse, who have no response to sexual advances or stimulation, or who are unable to have an orgasm during sexual intercourse.


Sexual dysfunction is usually a psychological problem, although any organic cause must first be ruled out.

Common Causes

  • unskilled or uncaring partner
  • communication problems with partner
  • anxiety , depression , fear of pregnancy, and feelings of guilt and shame about sex often play a part in sexual dysfunction
  • fear of pain, infection, or being pregnant
  • a gynecological disease
  • having deep-seated psychological problems
  • prior history of sexual abuse

Home Care

Home care depends on the cause. Professional counseling for the woman or for the couple may be recommended. Follow the treatment recommendations for sexual dysfunction caused by a physical disorder.

Family planning and contraception methods may be helpful for sexual dysfunction caused by fear of pregnancy.

Call your health care provider if

Call your health care provider if the problem is persistent or accompanied by other unexplained symptoms.

A history will be obtained and a psychological and physical examination performed. Counseling by a specialist may be recommended.

Medical history questions may include questions about relationships, attitudes towards sex, physical symptoms that may be present at the same time, and many others.

The physical examination may include a pelvic examination.

After seeing your health care provider:
You may want to add a diagnosis related to sexual dysfunction to your personal medical record.

Update Date: 2/7/2002

Peter Chen, M.D., Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT