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Female Sexual Dysfunction Terms

Anorgasmia: The inability to achieve orgasm.

Apomorphine: A drug that acts to increase genital blood flow and smooth muscle relaxation that is currently being tested as a treatment for female sexual arousal disorder.

Clitoris: A small erectile organ situated toward the front or top part of the vulva (vaginal exterior). During sexual arousal, the smooth muscles within the clitoris relax and the arterial wall dilates, increasing blood flow. A woman's difficulty or inability to achieve blood flow to the clitoris is a symptom of female sexual arousal disorder.

Contraindications: A symptom or condition that makes a particular treatment or therapy inadvisable.

CTD: A clitoral therapy device, such as the Eros™ Therapy.

Endometrial cancer: Cancer of the uterus lining.

Engorgement: This occurs when the clitoris fills with blood. Also known as "tumescence."

Erectile dysfunction: The lack of blood flow to the penis causing the inability to achieve an erection.

Estrogen: A female sex hormone that stimulates the development of female sex characteristics, or physical characteristics not directly associated with reproduction, such as breasts.

Female Sexual Arousal Disorder or FSAD:The persistent or recurrent inability to attain or maintain sufficient sexual excitement, causing personal distress. It may be expressed as lack of subjective excitement or a lack of genital (lubrication/swelling) or other somatic responses. FSAD is a type of Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD).

Female Sexual Dysfunction or FSD: The persistent inability to attain or maintain adequate genital lubrication or swelling responses resulting in personal distress. FSD includes problems associated with sexual desire, arousal, orgasm and pain.

Fibroid: A benign tumor made up of fibrous and muscular tissue that especially occurs in the uterus wall.

Fibrosis: The scarring and stiffening of tissues.

Genitals: Reproductive organs such as the vagina in women and the penis in men.

Hormonal Replacement Therapy (HRT): Oral medication consisting of the hormones estrogen, progestin and/or testosterone given to menopausal and post-menopausal women to prevent vaginal atrophy, sexual dysfunction, hot flashes, osteoporosis and incontinence.

Hysterectomy: Surgical removal of the uterus.

Incontinence: The inability to control urine leakage. Can be caused by an estrogen deficiency or by nerve damage through hysterectomy surgery. Incontinence can cause FSAD.

Libido: A desire for sex, or sex drive. Menopause: The period when a woman permanently stops menstruating and is no longer able to conceive. During this period, a woman's ovaries stop producing the hormones estrogen and progesterone. The average age of natural menopause is 50 years old, however, women who have had surgery to remove reproductive organs (such as a hysterectomy) may experience menopause at an earlier age.

Off-Label Drug: Drugs are approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat particular conditions because they have been shown to be safe and effective. However, medical professionals may use the same drug to treat other conditions for which safety and effectiveness has not been clinically proven. This ‘unapproved’ use of the drug is considered ‘off-label.’

Orgasm: The climax of sexual excitement.

Perimenopause: A time of gradual changes leading up to and following menopause. Hormone changes during this time may result in changes in menstrual flow patterns, hot flashes, anxiety, irritability, fatigue, decreased libido and sleep problems. Perimenopause may start as early as 40 to 45 years of age.

Phentolamine: A drug that acts to increase genital blood flow and smooth muscle relaxation that is currently being tested as a treatment for female sexual arousal disorder.

Postmenopausal: Having already undergone menopause (as in "a postmenopausal woman") or occurring after menopause (as in "postmenopausal osteoporosis").

Prostaglandin: A drug that has been shown to increase penile blood flow in men is now being tested for use in vaginal gels and sprays to treat female sexual arousal disorder.

Progesterone: A female sex hormone that regulates reproductive functions.

Sexual Dysfunction: Physical and mental difficulties with arousal, lack of desire, fear of intimacy and overactive sexual activity. Difficulties may be persistent, recurring or once in a lifetime. See also Erectile Dysfunction.

Testosterone: A male sex hormone causing the development of the male reproductive system and secondary sex characteristics.

Tumescence: This occurs when the clitoris fills with blood. Also known as "engorgement."

Uterus: A muscular organ found only in the female in which the baby develops before birth.

Vaginal Atrophy: The thinning, drying and irritation of the vaginal lining in menopausal women.

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