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Female sexual pain and cognitive behavioral therapy

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cognitive therapy, sexual dysfunctions, literature review


Female sexual pain disorders are prevalent and have a deleterious effect on women's well-being. Because there are psychological elements to this pain, cognitive–behavioral therapy (CBT) may be a viable treatment alternative, particularly when compared to more physically invasive treatments such as surgery or medication. This article provides a critical analysis of research studies in this area by evaluating each study in detail, identifying gaps in the research base, and providing directions for future study. For the most part, all of the studies reviewed in this article found CBT to be effective. However, CBT modalities with minimal therapist direction or interaction were found to be problematic. In addition, there may be other noninvasive treatment types that are equally or more effective, such as biofeedback or supportive psychotherapy.


LoFrisco, B. M. (2011). Female sexual pain and cognitive behavioral therapy. Journal of Sex Research, 48(6), 573-579. doi:10.1080/00224499.2010.540682