Clinical biologic pathophysiologies of women's sexual dysfunction

Rossella Nappi, Andrea Salonia, Abdulmaged M. Traish, Rik H W van Lunsen, Yoram Vardi, Ates Kodiglu, Irwin Goldstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction. Data concerning the biologic pathophysiology of desire, arousal, and orgasm in women are limited. Aim. To gain knowledge of biologic pathophysiology of female sexual function. Methods. To provide state-of-the-art knowledge concerning female sexual dysfunction, representing the opinions of seven experts from five countries developed in a consensus process over a 2-year period. Main outcome measure. An International Consultation in alliance with key urological and sexual medicine societies convened over 200 multidisciplinary specialists from 60 countries into 17 consultation committees. The aims, goals and intentions of each committee were defined. Expert opinion was based on grading of evidence-based medical literature, extensive internal committee dialogue, open presentation, and debate. Results. Three critical physiologic requirements, including intact sex steroids, autonomic/somatic nerves, and arterial inflow/perfusion pressure to women's genital organs play fundamental roles in maintaining women's sexual function. Despite this, there are nominal data supporting a direct pathophysiologic involvement of abnormal sex steroid values, and/or damage/injury to neurologic and/or blood flow integrity in women with problems in sexual desire, arousal, and/or orgasm. This summary details the available literature concerning hormonal, neurologic, and vascular organic pathophysiologies of women's sexual dysfunctions. Conclusions. Additional research on clinical pathophysiologies in women's sexual dysfunction is needed. This chapter encompasses data presented at the 2nd International Consultation on Sexual Medicine in Paris, France, June 28-July 1, 2003.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-25
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Sexual Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • Pathophysiology of arousal
  • Pathophysiology of desire

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


Dive into the research topics of 'Clinical biologic pathophysiologies of women's sexual dysfunction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this