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Keywords:

  • dyspareunia;
  • female sexual dysfunction;
  • female sexual function;
  • pregnancy;
  • prenatal care;
  • sexual behavior;
  • sexual health;
  • sexual history;
  • sexual intercourse;
  • sexuality

Women's sexual function is a complex and dynamic interplay of variables that involve physical, emotional, and psychosocial states. Sexual dysfunction may occur at any level, and diagnosing such issues begins with careful assessment through a sexual health history. However, discussions about female sexual health and function are often deficient in the primary care setting. This article reviews the published research on female sexual function, sexual dysfunction, and sexual function in pregnancy to gain a better understanding of how these aspects of a woman's life impact the health care services she receives. The evaluation of female sexual function is in need of consistent measurement tools and more dialogue during health care visits. Women's health care practitioners have an opportunity to advance patient satisfaction and overall health by evaluating and communicating with female patients about their sexual function.