Summary of the recommendations on sexual dysfunctions in women

Rosemary Basson, Stan Althof, Susan Davis, Kirsten Fugl-Meyer, Irwin Goldstein, Sandra Leiblum, Cindy Meston, Raymond Rosen, Gorm Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

210 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction. Women's sexual dysfunctions include persistent or recurrent disorders of sexual interest/desire, disorders of subjective and genital arousal, orgasm disorder, pain and difficulty with attempted or completed intercourse. There are limited recommendation/guideline documents pertaining to the diagnosis and treatment of women's sexual dysfunctions. Aim. To provide recommendations/guidelines concerning state-of-the-art knowledge for the clinical management of women's sexual dysfunctions. Methods. An International Consultation in collaboration with the major sexual medicine associations assembled over 200 multidisciplinary experts from 60 countries into 17 committees. Committee members established specific objectives and scopes for various sexual medicine topics. The recommendations concerning state-of-the-art knowledge in the respective sexual medicine topic represent the opinion of experts from five continents developed in a process over a 2-year period. Ten experts from four countries compiled the Recommendations on Sexual Dysfunctions in Women. Main outcome measure. Expert opinion was based on grading of evidence-based medical literature, widespread internal committee discussion, public presentation and debate. Results. Recommendations and guidelines concerning the various sexual dysfunctions were updated. A comprehensive assessment of medical, sexual and psychosocial history is recommended for diagnosis and management planning. Indications for general and focused pelvic genital examination and laboratory testing are included. Recently revised definitions for sexual desire/interest disorder, arousal disorders (genital, subjective, combined and persistent), orgasm disorder, dyspareunia and vaginismus are presented. An evidence-based approach to management is provided. Conclusions. There is a need for more research and scientific reporting, re-assessment, and management of women's sexual dysfunction including long-term outcome studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-34
Number of pages11
JournalThe Journal of Sexual Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • Arousal disorder
  • Desire disorder
  • Diagnosis and treatment of women's sexual dysfunction
  • Female sexual dysfunction
  • Orgasm disorder
  • Sexual pain disorder

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