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Five simple and quick questions may help determine if a woman has low sexual desire (hypoactive sexual desire disorder), according to a study in The Journal of Sexual Medicine. The study enrolled 263 women at 27 centers throughout the United States. The women took the decreased sexual desire screening test and their answers were reviewed with a clinician who was not an expert in female sexual desire.

Separately and while being unaware of the non-expert clinician’s opinion, an expert in female sexual dysfunction conducted a standard diagnostic interview with the study participant. The results found that the decreased sexual desire screening tool and standard diagnostic interview were in agreement in 85% of the cases.

"This simple screening tool can be a great first line test to see if a women has low sexual desire,” said Dr. Irwin Goldstein, co-author of the study and director of the sexual medicine program at Alvarado Hospital in San Diego ― the first hospital-based sexual medicine program in the U.S. "I am encouraged that this study may help improve the dialogue about a woman’s sexual health in the doctor’s office.”

Dr. Goldstein, who serves as editor-in-chief of The Journal of Sexual Medicine, said that many healthcare professionals are reluctant to talk to their patients about sexual health because of limited time with a patient, lack of training, embarrassment, or the absence of effective treatment options for women.

The test consists of the following questions that women answer with yes or no:

  • In the past was your level of sexual desire or interest good or satisfying to you?

  • Has there been a decrease in your level of sexual desire or interest?
  • Are you bothered by your decreased level of sexual desire or interest?
  • Would you like your level of sexual desire or interest to increase?

Please check all the factors that you may feel may be contributing to your current decrease in sexual desire or interest:

  • an operation, depression, injuries or other medical condition

  • medication, drugs or alcohol you are currently taking
  • pregnancy, recent childbirth, menopausal symptoms
  • other sexual issues you may be having such as pain, decreased arousal or orgasm
  • your partner’s sexual problems
  • dissatisfaction with your relationship or partner
  • stress or fatigue

If a woman says "no” to any of the questions in 1-4, then she does not qualify for the diagnosis of generalized acquired low sexual function. If the women answers "yes” to questions 1-4 and "no” to th