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Approach to the woman with sexual pain

Roya Rezaee, MD, FACOG
Sheryl Kingsberg, PhD
Susan Kellogg Spadt, CRNP, PhD
Section Editor
Robert L Barbieri, MD
Deputy Editor
Kristen Eckler, MD, FACOG


Female sexual pain (FSP) has a significant negative impact on a woman's health, self-esteem, relationships, quality of life, and work productivity. It is unclear if sexual pain is a sexual disorder, pain disorder, or both. It can be difficult to identify a definitive cause of pain. Etiologies range from simple anatomic problems to complex biopsychosocial issues. In addition, a woman can have more than one etiology of her pain.

This topic will review the epidemiology, etiology, and diagnostic evaluation of women who present with genital sexual pain. The differential diagnosis of sexual pain as well as the evaluation and treatment of specific pain disorders are reviewed separately.

(See "Differential diagnosis of sexual pain in women".)

(See "Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of genitourinary syndrome of menopause (vulvovaginal atrophy)".)

(See "Treatment of genitourinary syndrome of menopause (vulvovaginal atrophy)".)

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Literature review current through: Sep 2017. | This topic last updated: Nov 10, 2016.
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