SAMJ: South African Medical Journal
On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574
BACKGROUND: The World Health Organization is in the process of revising the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD). Sexual dysfunction disorders (F52) have been identified as having poor clinical utility. South Africa (SA) has been selected as one of five low- and middle-income countries in which studies will be developed to assess the clinical utility of the proposed ICD-11 revisions for sexual dysfunction disorders. OBJECTIVE: To identify scientific research generated in SA on sexual dysfunction disorders to guide these studies. METHODS: A systematic review of SA research on sexual dysfunction disorders published in peer-reviewed journals. RESULTS: Despite the high prevalence of ejaculatory and erectile dysfunctions, only five SA articles have addressed male sexual dysfunction since 1970. Lack of sexual interest and inability to reach orgasm are the most commonly reported complaints for women, yet only four SA articles have been published on the topic of female sexual dysfunction. Diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, genitourinary disease and psychiatric or psychological disorders are common comorbid conditions associated with sexual dysfunction in both sexes, but only nine articles address sexual dysfunction as the main topic with respect to comorbid conditions. CONCLUSION: Despite growing awareness of the importance of sexual health, SA-based scientific research on sexual dysfunction is limited. Further work is needed to inform recommendations for ICD-11 revisions drawn from the SA context.