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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 107217, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/107217
Review Article

Older Women’s Sexual Desire Problems: Biopsychosocial Factors Impacting Them and Barriers to Their Clinical Assessment

1Department of Clinical Psychology, Alliant International University San Diego, 10455 Pomerado Road, San Diego, CA 92131, USA
2Department of Psychology, California State University Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330, USA

Received 26 April 2013; Revised 24 April 2014; Accepted 27 April 2014; Published 5 June 2014

Academic Editor: Andrea Tinelli

Copyright © 2014 Michelle Maciel and Luciana Laganà. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Sexual desire is a major component of sexuality at any age, and inhibited desire is one of the main sexual dysfunctions reported by older women. Nonetheless, in medical settings, for a variety of reasons discussed herein, its assessment—as well as the assessment of older women’s sexual health in general—is typically avoided or conducted by asking a single sex question. In this paper, we have reviewed the literature (most of which is preliminary in nature) regarding the main psychosocial and health factors that could impact older women’s sexual desire, as well as potential obstacles to the assessment and treatment of this geriatric sexual issue. It is certainly advisable that medical care providers who are uncomfortable discussing older women’s sexual concerns be prepared to make appropriate referrals to clinicians who possess the proper training to accurately assess and treat sexual challenges (and female sexual interest problems in particular) in this neglected patient population.