A framework for the present and future development of experimental models of female sexual dysfunction

T. M. Hale, J. P.W. Heaton, M. A. Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Female sexual dysfunction (FSD) is currently categorized according to disorders of (i) desire, (ii) arousal, (iii) orgasm and (iv) sexual pain. The advancement of research defining the physiological, pathophysiological and psychological mechanisms of these disorders, and to develop treatments for FSD, has been hampered by the paucity of experimental paradigms and animal models. It may be that animal models of FSD are best suited to address arousal disorders that include persistent or routine inability to attain or maintain genital lubrication or engorgement. Although still limited in scope, experimental models of FSD have involved a range of in vitro to in vivo methodologies. Specifically, the in vitro and in situ models include vaginal or clitoral smooth muscle preparations, histological evaluation and vaginal blood flow assessments. Previously, in vivo studies of sexual responses focussed on behavioral paradigms involving lordotic posturing and receptivity, as well as indices of motivation using a dual chamber pacing method. Recently, a new model of female sexual arousal was developed using pharmacological CNS stimulation; responses that were found to be sensitive to cardiovascular status, aging and hormonal conditions. It is important that a wide variety of animal models continue to be developed to reflect the multifactorial basis of the condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S75-S79
JournalInternational Journal of Impotence Research
Issue numberSUPPL. 5
StatePublished - Oct 2003


  • Animal models
  • Behavioral models
  • Female sexual dysfunction
  • Pharmacological models
  • Physiological models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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