Campbell-Walsh Urology, 11th Edition


Reproductive and Sexual Function


Sexual Function and Dysfunction in the Female

Alan W. Shindel; Irwin Goldstein


  1. Sexual health encompasses which of the following concepts?
  2. Absence of sexual dysfunction/problem
  3. Mental well-being
  4. Human development and maturation
  5. All of the above
  6. a and c
  7. Which of these molecules is thought to play only a minor role in female genital sexual response?
  8. Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide
  9. Nitric oxide
  10. Acetylcholine
  11. Norepinephrine
  12. Aquaporins
  13. The Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) assesses all but which of the following aspects of sexuality?
  14. Sexual distress
  15. Sexual desire
  16. Sexual arousal
  17. Sexual pain
  18. Orgasm
  19. Which of the following is NOT an essential part of the physical examination in a woman with sexual concerns?
  20. Vital signs
  21. Assessment of vaginal pH
  22. Palpation of the levator ani musculature
  23. Careful inspection of the vulva
  24. Biothesiometry
  25. Which of the following statements is TRUE?
  26. Assessment of the patient's intimate relationship(s) is a key aspect of treating sexual problems.
  27. Women with spinal cord injury cannot experience orgasm.
  28. A linear pattern for sexual response is typical for all women.
  29. Survey instruments may take the place of history in evaluation of sexual concerns.
  30. All women who have sex with women identify as lesbian or bisexual.
  31. Which of the following statements is FALSE?
  32. Hysterectomy may improve or worsen sexual function in women depending on the indication.
  33. Low serum testosterone levels have been clearly linked to worse sexual function in all women.
  34. Phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors are not currently approved for the management of problems with sexual arousal response in women.
  35. Sexual activity during routine pregnancy is safe.
  36. Women may have genital arousal responses to erotic materials that they find mentally or emotionally unappealing.
  37. Which of the following are potential adverse events associated with supplemental testosterone in women?
  38. Hirsutism
  39. Acne
  40. Decreased high-density lipoprotein
  41. Vaginal bleeding
  42. All of the above
  43. Decreased sexual interest/desire has been associated with which of the following conditions in women?
  44. Use of antidepressants
  45. Life stressors
  46. Hypoestrogenism
  47. Relationship problems
  48. All of the above
  49. Education on sexuality is always indicated; which of the following women is likely to also benefit from medical and/or psychological treatment?
  50. 24-year-old woman who does not climax with vaginal penetration but does climax with clitoral stimulation
  51. 56-year-old woman with vaginal dryness that is well managed with sexual lubricant
  52. 35-year-old woman with bothersome decline in sexual desire
  53. All of the above
  54. None of the above
  55. Which of the following diagnoses are included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Illness Fifth Edition?
  56. Female Orgasmic Disorder
  57. Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder
  58. Genitopelvic Pain/Penetration Disorder
  59. a and c above
  60. All of the above
  61. Which of the following conditions has been associated with lower bioavailable androgen levels in women?
  62. Hormonal contraceptives
  63. Surgical menopause
  64. Elevated prolactin levels
  65. All of the above
  66. None of the above
  67. Which of the following has NOT been shown to be useful in the management of problems with sexual arousal in women?
  68. Topical prostaglandins
  69. Muscle relaxants
  70. Vaginal lubricants
  71. Hormonal supplementation with androgens and/or estrogens
  72. Psychosocial counseling
  73. Which of the following have been definitively linked to sexual dysfunction in women?
  74. Postmenopausal estrogen replacement
  75. Obesity
  76. High educational achievement
  77. Depression
  78. Metabolic syndrome
  79. Which of the following has the least evidence for efficacy in management of antidepressant-associated sexual dysfunction in women?
  80. Use of an adjunctive antidepressant
  81. Reassurance
  82. Drug cessation
  83. Drug holiday
  84. Sildenafil
  85. What is the most commonly purported etiology for the sexual problems that occur in some women using hormonal contraception?
  86. Reduction of bioavailable testosterone
  87. Reduction of bioavailable estrogen
  88. Psychological distress
  89. Partner dissatisfaction
  90. Alteration of vascular response


  1. d. All of the above. Sexual wellness incorporates many aspects of human experience.
  2. c. Acetylcholine.Acetylcholine is thought to play a relatively minor role in sexual response in women.
  3. a. Sexual distress.The FSFI does not include a metric to quantify or measure sexuality-related distress.
  4. e. Biothesiometry.Biothesiometry may be indicated in some cases of genital neuropathy but much of the same information can be gleaned from careful history and physical examination (with or without basic sensory testing).
  5. a. Assessment of the patient's intimate relationship(s) is a key aspect of treating sexual problems.Women with spinal cord injury may experience orgasm, and women may endorse a circular or linear sexual response. A history is critical to evaluation of sexual wellness, and up to half of women who have had sex with another woman do not identify as lesbian or bisexual.
  6. b. Low serum testosterone levels have been clearly linked to worse sexual function in all women. There are data to support a role for testosterone in sexual function in some women, but this is the least well supported of the statements in this question.
  7. e. All of the aboveThese are well-established potential effects of testosterone. There are substantial concerns about the potential for cardiovascular disease or neoplasia, but robust data on risk are scant.
  8. e. All of the above. There are numerous potential causes of low sexual desire.
  9. c. 35-year-old woman with bothersome decline in sexual desire. Many sexually healthy women do not climax with vaginal penetration. Use of vaginal lubricant is an effective and safe management option for vaginal dryness.
  10. d. a and c above.The DSM V combined Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder and Female Sexual Arousal Disorder into Female Sexual Interest/Arousal Disorder. Similarly, dyspareunia and vaginismus were combined into Genitopelvic Pain/Penetration Disorder. Female orgasmic disorder was carried over from DSM IV TR.
  11. d. All of the above. Hormonal contraception, prolactin, and surgical menopause all tend to decrease bioavailable testosterone.
  12. b. Muscle relaxants.Muscle relaxants have been used with good efficacy for issues of sexual pain but have not been shown to directly aid sexual arousal response in women.
  13. d. Depression.Depression is unambiguously linked to sexual dysfunction in women; the other entities have been linked to sexual dysfunction in some but not all studies.
  14. b. Reassurance.There are peer-reviewed, published data to support all but answer b. Reassurance may be indicated for some women but may be viewed by others as a dismissal of their concerns related to antidepressant treatment.
  15. a. Reduction of bioavailable testosterone.Hormonal contraception has been clearly linked to lower bioavailable serum testosterone. Other etiologies may contribute.

Chapter review

  1. The vagina is acidic, with a pH between 4 and 5, and is colonized by microorganisms that produce lactic acid.
  2. Testosterone production in women comes directly from the ovaries and adrenal glands. Unlike estrogen and progesterone levels, which fall abruptly with menopause, testosterone levels diminish gradually throughout life.
  3. Sexual neutrality or being receptive to rather than initiating sexual activity is considered a normal variation of female sexual functioning.
  4. Women with incontinence are up to three times more likely to experience decreased arousal, infrequent orgasms, and increased dyspareunia.
  5. Lack of estrogen may not directly impair female arousal and desire, but it impairs sexual function by resulting in a decreased vasocongestion and lubrication and increased vaginal epithelial atrophy. Estrogens maintain female genital tissue integrity and thickness.
  6. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have an inhibitory effect on sexual desire, arousal, and orgasm.
  7. Optimal female sexual health requires physical, emotional, and mental well-being.
  8. Hormonal contraception, prolactin, and elevated SHBG all tend to decrease bioavailable testosterone.