Psychological and interpersonal dimensions of sexual function and dysfunction in women: An update

Arab J Urol. 2013 Sep;11(3):299-304. doi: 10.1016/j.aju.2013.04.010. Epub 2013 Jun 17.


Introduction: We reviewed the psychological and interpersonal dimensions of female sexual function and dysfunction.

Methods: We identified articles published in 1970-2013 using the keywords 'female sexual dysfunction', 'sexual desire', 'sexual arousal', 'female orgasmic disorder', 'sex therapy', 'psychotherapy', 'behaviour therapy' and 'Internet therapy'. Over 200 articles were reviewed (Level of evidence 2b).

Results and conclusions: We identified the major psychological variables affecting female sexual function. The outcomes of psychological treatment interventions are reported. A collaboration between healthcare practitioners from different disciplines is necessary in the evaluation, treatment and education of female patients with sexual dysfunction. The assessment of female and couples' sexual dysfunction should ideally include an enquiry about the predisposing, precipitating, maintaining and contextual factors.

Keywords: Behaviour; CBT, cognitive behavioural therapy; ED, erectile dysfunction; FSAD, female sexual arousal disorder; Female; HSDD, hypoactive sexual desire disorder; Psychotherapy; Sex therapy; Sexual dysfunction.

Publication types

  • Review