We are pleased to present our readers with this special issue focused on sexual health. Together, the authors of these articles provide up-to-date, evidence-based information on common female sexual disorders that impact quality of life for our patients and challenge us in our clinical practice. The sexual disorders covered include dyspareunia in both young and postmenopausal women, hypoactive sexual desire disorder with a focus on premenopausal women, and sexual arousal and orgasmic disorders.
In this issue, readers can learn about strategies to start conversations with patients that will help them be more comfortable in discussing sexual concerns. Each article includes details on how to perform an appropriate and thorough assessment when a problem is identified. A holistic approach is used by the authors as they describe how to determine and address multiple etiologic components of the various sexual disorders including biologic, physiologic, psychological, sociocultural, and interpersonal factors. Nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic management options are included with attention to individualizing care to meet each patient’s needs and desires.
The program guide for the seventh annual Women’s Sexual Health Course for NPs presented by NPWH in collaboration with the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health is also published in this special sexual health issue of the journal. This course provides nurse practitioners (NPs) with up-to-date evidence and expert consensus on female sexual health, evaluation techniques, and therapeutic interventions. NPs who want to excel in sexual health practice should consider attending this course.
Nurse practitioners who care for women are ideally situated to be an important resource to help them achieve and maintain healthy, satisfying sexual lives. The care provided, of
course, goes beyond sexual disorders. Sexual health includes all aspects of sexuality. It is often intertwined with matters related to reproductive health and safe, respectful sexual relationships. Sexual healthcare extends across the lifespan and must be inclusive of women and men, all gender identities, and all sexual orientations.
NPWH supports NPs in providing the best sexual healthcare for their patients with information delivered through a variety of venues including:
• Journal articles throughout the year
• Regional workshops: Managing Women’s Health Issues Across a Lifespan
• H.E.R. Hub: Health information for women provided by WHNPs available in video, text, and infographic formats
• The NPWH blog: Women’s Health Wisdom
• Annual Premier Women’s Healthcare Conference
• Annual Women’s Sexual Health Course for NPs
• Position statements
• NPWH WHNP Guidelines for Practice and Education
• NPWH E-Learning Portal: Continuing education courses for NPs available through a variety of options including recorded conference sessions, journal articles, webinars, etc.
For more information about these venues and sexual health topics, visit the NPWH website at www.npwh.org.
I hope you find the articles in this special sexual health issue useful in your practice and in the important work you do to help patients achieve and maintain healthy sexual lives that fit with their individual needs and desires.
– Beth Kelsey, EdD, APRN, WHNP-BC, FAANP