Background: Sexual dysfunction in women is prevalent and common in women after menopause. Many attempts to treat patients with sexual dysfunction by cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) methods. But to the best of our knowledge, there has been no study that compared these two methods. 

Objective: The aim of this study was to assess and compare the effects of sildenafil and cognitive-behavioral therapy on treatment of sexual dysfunction in women.

Methods: In this randomized, controlled, clinical trial, 86 women with arousal and orgasm dysfunction were surveyed. The patients were divided into two groups, i.e., sildenafil and CBT groups. The patients in the sildenafil group were treated by 50 mg of oral sildenafil one hour before intercourse, and the other group had weekly sessions of CBT for eight weeks. Sexual dysfunctions were evaluated by the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), a sexual satisfaction questionnaire, and the Enrich marital satisfaction scale.

Results: The mean age of the participants was 33.14 ± 7.34 years. The mean scores for female sexual function index, sexual satisfaction, and the Enrich marital satisfaction scale were increased in both groups during treatment (p < 0.001). It was found that cognitive-behavioral therapy compared to treatment with sildenafil increased all subscales, except arousal, orgasm, and lubrication.

Conclusion: Cognitive-behavioral therapy is more effective than treatment with sildenafil for improving female sexual function.

Clinical trial registration: The trial was registered at the Iranian Registry of Clinical Trials (http://www.irct.ir) with the IRCT ID: IRCT2014070318338N1.

Funding: The authors received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.


Keywords: Female arousal disorder, Orgasm, Marital satisfaction, Sildenafil, Cognitive-behavioral therapy
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