Five simple and quick questions may help determine if a woman has low sexual desire, or hypoactive sexual desire disorder, says a study released this month in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.
The study enrolled 263 women at 27 centers throughout the U.S. who took the decreased sexual desire screening test and their answers were reviewed with a clinician who was not an expert in female sexual desire. Separately and while being unaware of the non-expert clinician’s opinion, an expert in female sexual dysfunction conducted a standard diagnostic interview with the study participant.
The results found that the decreased sexual desire screening tool and standard diagnostic interview were in agreement in 85.2 percent of the cases.
“This simple screening tool can be a great first line test to see if a women has low sexual desire,” said Irwin Goldstein, M.D., co-author of the study and director of Sexual Medicine at Alvarado Hospital in San Diego, California. “I am encouraged that this study may help improve the dialogue about a woman’s sexual health in the doctor’s office.”
Dr. Goldstein, who also serves as editor-in-chief of The Journal of Sexual Medicine, says that many health care professionals are often reluctant to talk to their patients about sexual health for several reasons, including limited time with a patient, lack of training, embarrassment, and the absence of effective treatment options for women.
The test consists of the following questions that women answer with yes or no: — In the past was your level of sexual desire or interest good or satisfying to you?
– Has there been a decrease in your level of sexual desire or interest?
– Are you bothered by your decreased level of sexual desire or interest?
– Would you like your level of sexual desire or interest to increase?
– Please check all the factors that you may feel may be contributing to your current decrease in sexual desire or interest:
— an operation, depression, injuries or other medical condition
– medication, drugs or alcohol you are currently taking
– pregnancy, recent childbirth, menopausal symptoms
– other sexual issues you may be having such as pain, decreased arousal or orgasm
– your partner’s sexual problems
– dissatisfaction with your relationship or partner
– stress or fatigue
If a woman says “no” to any of the questions in 1-4, then she does not qualify for the diagnosis of generalized acquired low sexual function. If the women answers “yes” to questions 1-4 and “no” to the factors in question 5, then she may have generalized acquired low sexual desire.
Dr. Goldstein said the screening tool should be a key part of any women’s health check up.