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Correlation of Question 15 of the FSDS-DAO with Clinician Evaluation of Female Orgasmic Disorder


Corresponding Author: Jodi Dickstein, PhD, Director of Regulatory Affairs, Trimel Pharmaceuticals Corporation, 2488 Dunwin Dr., Mississauga, ON, Canada, L5L 1J9. Tel: 905-817-8182; Fax: 905-569-1809; E-mail:



Female orgasmic disorder (FOD) is the second most frequently reported sexual dysfunction in women. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the term “marked distress” is central to the diagnosis of FOD.


Objectives of this study were to explore terminology used by women diagnosed with FOD to describe their associated feelings and establish a correlation between patient ratings of question 15, “How often do you feel frustrated by problems with orgasm” on the Female Sexual Distress Score/Desire Arousal Orgasm (FSDS-DAO) with clinician evaluations of FOD.


Research was performed at one sexual medicine facility. Recruited participants were patients diagnosed with FOD. Fifteen women meeting inclusion/exclusion criteria were enrolled, completed the FSDS-DAO and a structured interview to assess terminology associated with orgasm difficulties.

Main Outcome Measure

Patient reported terminology for characterization of FOD, validity of question 15 of FSDS-DAO.


When asked to describe their orgasm difficulties, 60% of participants said “frustrated.” Other terms included disappointed, pariah, subhuman, desperate, and concerned. Fifty-three percent (53%) claimed their inability to orgasm affected day-to-day life. In participants where FOD did not affect day-to-day life, 57% actively suppressed thoughts about inability to orgasm. Responses to question 15 of the FSDS-DAO ranged from 2–4 (mean 3.6) indicating participants were very frustrated.


To diagnose FOD, clinicians assess the level of associated distress through individualized patient interviews with no standardized tool. The term “distressed” is a medical construct and did not resonate with participants when describing their experience. participants used “frustrated” as an emotional descriptor to their sexual experience and scored high on question 15 of the FSDS-DAO. This study demonstrates the FSDS-DAO, specifically question 15, correlates well with the clinician diagnosis of marked distress and may be an appropriate tool for evaluating treatment benefit in the FOD population. Dickstein JB, Goldstein SW, Tkachenko N, and Kreppner W. Correlation of question 15 of the FSDS-DAO with clinician evaluation of female orgasmic disorder. J Sex Med 2013;10:2251–2254.