Female sexual dysfunction: A potential minefield

Smitha S. Prabhu, Snigdha Hegde, Suhani Sareen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Female sexual dysfunction (FSD) is a much-neglected aspect of feminine health, especially in patriarchal cultures. We collated data from pertinent published literature on FSD to explore the types, associations, and best possible approach to FSD in the Indian context. We fed search words 'female sexual dysfunction,' 'sexual health,' 'India,' into medical search engines such as PubMed, Google Scholar, Clinical Key, ProQuest, SciVal for locating pertinent articles from which data was synthesized and extracted. Female sexual response is complex and is influenced by physiological, behavioral, social, and cultural factors. The latest Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5 criteria classified FSD into female sexual interest/arousal disorder, female orgasmic disorder and genito-pelvic pain/penetration disorder, along with categories common to both genders like substance/drug induced and other unspecified subsets. Diagnosis requires detailed and specific history taking and clinical evaluation to rule out comorbidities. Treatment is multifaceted and prolonged, involving pharmacological, psychological, and behavioral therapy in both partners. Almost all Indian studies in this field have small sample sizes and none of the studies focused on FSD as the primary complaint. FSD is still an unexplored field of Indian medicine. Although newer treatment options and techniques are being explored, there is much to achieve. We need to develop culturally suitable questionnaires taking into account the Indian female psyche. Management should be holistic and involve focused liaison clinics, including dermatology, gynecology, psychiatry, clinical psychology, and urology specialties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-134
Number of pages7
JournalIndian Journal of Sexually Transmitted Diseases and AIDS
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01-07-2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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