HSDD—Driving the Dialogue
Learn about where women feel most comfortable discussing their sexual problems

Who does she turn to?

Of the 3239 women from PRESIDE with self-reported sexual problems, just over 1/3 sought formal care.*1

The majority of women sought help for sexual problems from PCPs and gynecologists1

The majority of women sought help for sexual problems from PCPs and gynecologists. (Pie chart) The majority of women sought help for sexual problems from PCPs and gynecologists. (Pie chart)

Other=urologist, emergency department physician, or gerontologist/geriatrician.

Adapted from Shifren JL et al. J Womens Health. 2009;18(4):461-468. ©2009 with permission from Mary Ann Leibert, Inc.

PRESIDE=Prevalence of Female Sexual Problems Associated with Distress and Determinants of Treatment.

*PRESIDE is a cross-sectional, population-based survey of 31,581 women aged 18 years and older in the United States. The purpose was to estimate the prevalence of self-reported sexual problems of desire, arousal, and orgasm, the prevalence of sexually related personal distress, and their combination, and to identify associated factors.

Results of a web-based survey of 3807 women, assessing their experiences seeking help for sexual function complaints…

Patients believe HCPs are unconcerned about their sexual problems†2

Patient experience of physician reactions (N=3807)

Patients believe HCPs are unconcerned about their sexual problems. (Bar chart) Patients believe HCPs are unconcerned about their sexual problems. (Bar chart)

Adapted from Berman L et al. Fertil Steril. 2003;79(3):572-576. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/00150282. ©2003 with permission from the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.

The instrument consisted of demographic information, a help-seeking scale addressing the patients’ experiences seeking treatment, and an affect scale addressing feelings associated with that experience. The survey results were published in 2003.

You can play a central role from the start when screening for sexual dysfunction3

Normalize/universalize conversations about sexual health issues with language that patients are comfortable with.

  1. Start with an open-ended question, such as…

    “Many women at your age report problems during sex. What problems are you experiencing?”
  2. Continue inquiry with specific questions

    “Are you having any problems with desire/interest in sex?” “Are you having any problems with pain/lubrication/dryness?” “Are you having any problems with orgasm or coming? Too late, early, not at all?”
  3. Follow up positive response with open-ended invitation

    “Tell me about it…Tell me about a typical sexual experience…”

 

View barriers to diagnosis

 

Normalizing conversations about sexual health

Sheryl Kingsberg, PhD, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, provides tips for productive patient dialogue and diagnosis.
Sheryl Kingsberg, PhD, IF
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Dr. Kingsberg is a consultant for AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Palatin Technologies, Inc.

View barriers to diagnosis

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References: 1. Shifren JL, Johannes CB, Monz BU, Russo PA, Bennett L, Rosen R. Help-seeking behavior of women with self-reported distressing sexual problems. J Womens Health. 2009;18(4):461-468. 2. Berman L, Berman J, Felder S, et al. Seeking help for sexual function complaints: what gynecologists need to know about the female patient’s experience. Fertil Steril. 2003;79(3):572-576. 3. Sadovsky R, Alam W, Enecilla M, Cosiquien R, Tipu O, Etheridge-Otey J. ORIGINAL RESEARCH—EPIDEMIOLOGY: Sexual problems among a specific population of minority women aged 40–80 years attending a primary care practice. J Sex Med. 2006;3(5):795-803.

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