Empowering ob-gyns to address sexual health concerns

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At the 2024 ACOG Annual Clinical & Scientific Meeting, experts emphasized the importance of equipping ob-gyns with the knowledge and tools to address sexual health issues, including hyperactive sexual desire disorder, anorgasmia, and pelvic pain.

In a recent interview, Alexandra Dubinskaya, MD, FACOG, Rachel Pope, MD, MPH, and Jill Krapf, MD, FACOG, discussed their presentation about addressing sexual health at the 2024 ACOG Annual Clinical & Scientific Meeting.

The priority of the session was to provide information for doctors to address sexual health concerns among their patients and to give them the tools necessary to treat sexual health conditions. This included management of hypoactive sexual desire disorder. Treatment options discussed included referral to a sexual therapist and medication.

Anorgasmia, a disorder with high prevalence in women, was also discussed. This included a case study highlighting anorgasmia, causes behind the condition, and tools the ob-gyn can use to help their patient.

Pelvic pain was also discussed, including pain with vaginal insertion. “I empowered people to think past the term vulvodynia to really look at location and cause in determining these pelvic pain conditions and what is behind them,” Krapf said. The session also dove into hypertonic pelvic floor muscle dysfunction.

Up to 50% have women have some type of sexual dysfunction, making it vital to ask patients questions about sexual function. This can include arousal, pain, and orgasm. Pope encouraged ob-gyns to feel confident in asking these questions and knowing the basics about sexual function.

Hyperactive sexual desire disorder also impacts approximately 50% of the population. It can lead to increased depression prevalence and adverse quality of life and relationship outcomes, making it vital to recognize and address this condition. Vulvar pain conditions impact up to 17% of women, making it important to understand different conditions for proper diagnosis and treatment.

According to Pope, the key takeaways from the session are that sexual health conditions are common, making it important to be aware of, identify, and ask about them. Many women are reluctant to discuss sexual function concerns, but encouragement and compassion from their doctor can lead to trust from the patient.

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