Women's Mental Health
As C-L psychiatry cultivates its role in providing collaborative consultation to subspecialties, the need for expertise in women’s health has expanded. Skills around assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of complaints related to female sexual functioning are particularly neglected in psychiatric training; yet this area of health can significantly affect quality of life, relationships, and mental health indices. Reciprocally, psychiatric disorders and treatments can impact sexual functioning. These intersections represent important ground for collaboration with services such as obstetrics & gynecology (OB/GYN), primary care, and oncology. This includes the potential development of specific collaborative or co-located clinics that are becoming more prevalent in our field, representing at least one potential vision for our subspecialty’s future.
This workshop aims to broaden the expertise of C-L psychiatrists in the domain of women’s sexual functioning and genito-pelvic pain or penetration disorders. These topics are of relevance to any C-L psychiatrist who evaluates women, those pursuing sub-specialization in women’s health, and those who wish to develop collaborations with and provide psychiatric consultation to OB/GYN departments and primary care physicians. As reflected in the Women’s Health SIG, efforts to bring this area of subspecialty under the C-L umbrella argue for the centrality of cross-discipline collaboration to better serve women whose health needs have historically been overlooked.
The four presenters in this workshop will each address an important area relevant to female sexual functioning and psychiatry. Cases contextualized to the C-L setting will help tailor the learning to assessment modalities and treatment decisions that C-L psychiatrists may employ. Dr. Valpey will begin by discussing sexual dysfunction in psychiatric disorders, including women with affective, anxiety, psychotic, and eating disorders. Next, Dr. St. Victor will discuss issues of sexuality and sexual health during the peripartum phase of the reproductive life cycle. Dr. Kucherer will then discuss the issue of pharmacotherapy and sexual symptoms including a review of sexual side effects from common psychiatric medications as well as potential treatments. In the final presentation, Dr. May will provide updates on the diagnoses of genito-pelvic pain or penetration disorders and discuss the development of a collaborative clinic at Stanford providing treatment for these disorders. In moderating the workshop, Drs. May and Valpey will aim to highlight practical ways that C-L Psychiatry can provide its expertise in hospital and outpatient settings, illuminating how our subspecialty can lead in bridging the needs of women in the medical setting.
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