A new report has suggested that women suffering from female sexual dysfunction (FSD) are being prevented from seeking help due to societal and cultural barriers.
Published by Datamoniter, the report says that because the condition, charecterised by long-term low libido in women, is not life-threatening it is frequently ignored or dismissed by the medical community.
The head of women’s health analysis at DataMoniter, Maya Marescott, said that the stigma attached to talking about sex and sexual dysfunction in a clinical environment was acting as a barrier to doctors and patients discussing any sexual problems.
A recent study of healthcare providers in the US showed that only 34% of American doctors would bring up a discussion about sexual health with their patients while in the UK it was revealed that 75% of women would not discuss their sexual health with their GP, due to a belief they would not be interested.
Currently there is only one medication that GPs can prescribe to treat Female Sexual Dysfunction, Proctor and Gamble’s Intrinsa patch. However it is only suitable for post-menopausal women taking hormone replacement therapy.
Another company is developing a pill called Flbanserin that may be suitable for a much larger patient group and which has already had promising results in clinical trials, but it is unlikely to be available for at least a year.
However if it is approved it may encourage women to discuss the problem with the doctors – the advent of medical solutions such as Viagra did much to remove some of the stigma from erectile dysfunction.
Ms. Marescotti however warned that as FSD was a complicated condition, caused be a variety of factors, finding a ‘quick fix’ for the problem would be hard to achieve.