Neurologic Factors in Female Sexual Function and Dysfunction
Azadzoi, Kazem M.
Siroky, Mike B.
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CitationAzadzoi, Kazem M., Mike B. Siroky. "Neurologic Factors in Female Sexual Function and Dysfunction" Korean Journal of Urology 51(7): 443-449. (2010)
Sexual dysfunction affects both men and women, involving organic disorders, psychological problems, or both. Overall, the state of our knowledge is less advanced regarding female sexual physiology in comparison with male sexual function. Female sexual dysfunction has received little clinical and basic research attention and remains a largely untapped field in medicine. The epidemiology of female sexual dysfunction is poorly understood because relatively few studies have been done in community settings. In the United States, female sexual dysfunction has been estimated to affect 40% of women in the general population. Among the elderly, however, it has been reported that up to 87% of women complain of sexual dissatisfaction. Several studies have shown that the prevalence of female sexual arousal disorders correlates significantly with increasing age. These studies have shown that sexual arousal and frequency of coitus in the female decreases with increasing age. The pathophysiology of female sexual dysfunction appears more complex than that of males, involving multidimensional hormonal, neurological, vascular, psychological, and interpersonal aspects. Organic female sexual disorders may include a wide variety of vascular, neural, or neurovascular factors that lead to problems with libido, lubrication, and orgasm. However, the precise etiology and mechanistic pathways of age-related female sexual arousal disorders are yet to be determined. In the past two decades, some advances have been made in exploring the basic hemodynamics and neuroregulation of female sexual function and dysfunction in both animal models and in human studies. In this review, we summarize neural regulation of sexual function and neurological causes of sexual dysfunction in women.