Purpose: Female sexual dysfunction is highly prevalent but not well defined or understood. We evaluated and revised existing definitions and classifications of female sexual dysfunction.
Materials and methods: An interdisciplinary consensus conference panel consisting of 19 experts in female sexual dysfunction selected from 5 countries was convened by the Sexual Function Health Council of the American Foundation for Urologic Disease. A modified Delphi method was used to develop consensus definitions and classifications, and build on the existing framework of the International Classification of Diseases-10 and DSM-IV: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association, which were limited to consideration of psychiatric disorders.
Results: Classifications were expanded to include psychogenic and organic causes of desire, arousal, orgasm and sexual pain disorders. An essential element of the new diagnostic system is the "personal distress" criterion. In particular, new definitions of sexual arousal and hypoactive sexual desire disorders were developed, and a new category of noncoital sexual pain disorder was added. In addition, a new subtyping system for clinical diagnosis was devised. Guidelines for clinical end points and outcomes were proposed, and important research goals and priorities were identified.
Conclusions: We recommend use of the new female sexual dysfunction diagnostic and classification system based on physiological as well as psychological pathophysiologies, and a personal distress criterion for most diagnostic categories.