Diagnose of Female Sexual Dysfunction
Physical and pelvic examination together with diagnostic tests helps diagnosing female sexual dysfunction.
Establishing the cause is a major step in the diagnosis of female sexual dysfunction. Proper evaluation of the patient’s attitude regarding sex, and other possible contributing factors like fear, anxiety, past sexual trauma/abuse, relationship problems, or alcohol or drug abuse will help the doctor understand the underlying cause of the problem and make appropriate recommendations for treatment.
Physical examination and symptom evaluation
Pelvic examination - A pelvic examination helps evaluate the health of the reproductive organs
Pap smear - A Pap smear is done to detect changes in the cells of the cervix (to check for cancer or a pre-cancerous condition)
A complete examination should be carried out to rule out any medical problems that may be contributing to the woman's sexual dysfunction.
Diagnostic tests for female sexual dysfunction -
A few investigations are available for diagnosing female sexual dysfunction. These are not undertaken commonly. The tests include -
- Vaginal pH testing
- Vaginal photoplethysmograph
Vaginal pH testing
The test is commonly performed by gynecologists and urologists to detect the bacteria that cause vaginitis. A probe is inserted into the vagina which takes the reading. Decreasing hormone levels and diminished vaginal secretion associated with menopause cause a rise in pH (over 5), which is easily detected with the test.
This is a procedure used to measure vaginal blood flow and engorgement (pooling and swelling of vaginal tissue). For the procedure, an acrylic tampon-shaped instrument is inserted in the vagina that uses reflected light to sense flow and temperature.
Use of Biothesiometer
A small cylindrical instrument called a biothesiometer may be used to assess the sensitivity of the clitoris and labia to pressure and temperature.