COMMENTARY

December 2004: The Year in Review -- Ob/Gyn & Women's Health

Ursula Snyder, PhD

Disclosures

January 24, 2005

Women's Health - Sexual Health

Sexual healthcare for women, from adolescence to postmenopause, is an issue that gynecologists are being called on to address on an unprecedented level and in a more sophisticated way than most have been trained. This year we have published 2 articles relevant to women's sexuality in sociocultural context. Must we fear adolescent sexuality? This question, the title of the first article, is one that Amy Schalet, PhD, has spent the past decade investigating. More specifically, Dr. Schalet has asked, How is it that 2 countries similar in terms of wealth, education, and reproductive technologies have had the highest and lowest rates of teen pregnancy, respectively, in the Western world. The countries are the United States and the Netherlands, and she has conducted a sociological inquiry into the construction of adolescence and sexuality within the white, moderately religious or secular middle class of the 2 countries -- the sector of the population that in both countries has a dominant influence on healthcare, education, politics, and the media. The second article is a CME program that addresses women's sexual problems using the New View approach, the foundation of which is the consideration of the relational and sociocultural factors that contribute to women's expressions about their sexual problems.

The role of androgens, namely testosterone, in postmenopausal women's health has been a topic of interest this past year in relation to sexual health. (See Medscape Medical News story.) Note that the testosterone patch was not approved by the FDA for the treatment of low female libido.

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