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Female Sexual Dysfunction IS A Real Disorder

Sexologists and other health care professionals have debated if female sexual dysfunction exists.

Female Sexual Disorder (FSD) has been discussed and debated among sexology professionals for many years. One such discussion focuses on the inherent differences between male and female sexuality Another area of concern is whether female sexuality will fit as easily into responding to medical intervention, such as a little pilI.

In February, 2011, The International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH) created and announced a position statement about this controversial topic. The goal of the organization is to help women who are struggling with some type of sexual dysfunction. Women with sexual issues are often overlooked or their concerns are brushed aside as trivial. Many women suffer needlessly, have difficulty sustaining an intimate relationship, and are not listened to or heard when they actually reach out to their primary care physician. At times, they may even feel misunderstood by a well meaning psychotherapist who is not educated about sexuality and sexual concerns.

The Women's Initiative on Sexual Health (WISH) under the auspices of the organization, ISSWSH, has created the following WISH position statement:

"As the leading international organization devoted to women's sexual health, the International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health is committed to further development of the field of female sexuality. As such, we advocate a collaborative approach for assessment, diagnosis and treatment of women who are suffering from sexual health problems. As healthcare professionals, researchers, family and friends who have seen firsthand the devastation to physical and psychological health and quality of life that sexual dysfunction can cause, we state, unequivocally, that female sexual disorders are real conditions and not a fabrication, nor a result, of disease mongering.

Female sexual disorders are valid conditions that warrant assessment, diagnosis and appropriate therapeutic intervention. The etiology of female sexual problems is often complex. It may include sexual medicine issues related to biologic etiologies including neurologic, hormonal, vascular and anatomic components as well as psychological issues relating to socio-cultural, emotional, cognitive and relationship concerns.

We are aware that female sexual dysfunction research is still a relatively new field and continuing research is needed to further elucidate the etiological factors that contribute to female sexual disorders. We advocate the further development of safe and effective treatments, both biological and psychosocial-cultural in nature, for women who are suffering from these conditions. Although not all treatments will work equally for everyone, women deserve to have a variety of treatment options and for their voices to be heard. In light of this, we call upon all the stakeholders, including government regulators, to move the bar of available therapies forward."

By declaring that female sexual dysfunction is a real psychological disorder, requiring real research and treatment choices for women, ISSWSH is showing their commitment to the sexual well being of all women. The goal is not to increase the wealth of pharmaceutical companies or to waste the time of psychotherapists and marriage counselors. The goal is to encourage needed research to determine what works and what doesn't work for female sexual concerns. What has worked for men does not necessarily help women.

If you or a female you know has a sexual dysfunction, just realize that it IS real and it can be helped.  But sometimes the real disorder is the particular relationship and when that breaks up, the disorder is gone.

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