Female Sexual Dysfunctions: What you Need to Know
Here is a brutal fact: approximately 43% of women report some degree
of female sexual dysfunction.
What is Sexual Dysfunction?
There are four phases that make up the sexual response cycle. They are:
excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution. Sexual dysfunction
refers to a problem that prevents either the individual or the couple
from experiencing full satisfaction during any one of these stages.
Causes of Female Sexual Dysfunctions
Although various causes can contribute to female sexual dysfunctions,
all can be typically placed under one of the two following categories:
- Physical cause: There are a number of physical ailments
that can interfere with sexual functions. Some of these medical conditions
are diabetes, heart disease, menopause, neurological diseases, and chronic
diseases such as kidney disease or liver failure. Side effects from
certain medications can affect both desire and sexual functions. Also
included in this category is drug and alcohol abuse.
- Psychological cause: This covers factors that range
from stress and anxiety to relationship problems, concern about sexual
performance, depression, or the lingering effects of a past sexual trauma.
Female Sexual Dysfunctions
Although many issues can lead to female sexual dysfunctions, here is a
brief description of the most common sex-related problems experienced
- Pain during Intercourse:
Discomfort or pain can be caused by a physical condition, including
endometriosis, ovarian cysts, insufficient lubrication, a pelvic mass,
scar tissue resulting from surgery, or a sexually transmitted disease.
While some conditions require surgery (endometriosis, pelvic mass, ovarian
cyst), others, such as a lack of lubrication, can be remedied by simply
going to the pharmacy to buy a vaginal lubricant.
- Low Libido:
Limited or lack of interest in sex can be attributed to many things,
including hormonal changes, depression, stress, fatigue, medical conditions,
and certain medical treatments such as chemotherapy. For certain career
women, the work schedule, in addition to the children’s needs,
is overwhelming; it leaves them with too little energy. Demanding lifestyles
can be responsible for dampening sexual desire. In other cases, simple
boredom is the culprit.
- Anorgasmia: It is the
medical term used for individuals who do not experience orgasms. It
can be caused by sexual inhibition, a lack of experience, or a psychological
factor such as a previous sexual trauma. It can also be attributed to
insufficient stimulation or certain medications.
- Vaginal Dryness:
Too much anxiety, physical exhaustion, menopause, taking medication,
or lack of stimulation may lead to vaginal dryness, often the cause
of a woman’s inability to become sexually aroused.
How to Treat Female Sexual Dysfunctions
The good news is that many sexual dysfunctions can be alleviated in the
- Education: Acquiring ample information on the subject
of human anatomy, with regard to sexual function, sexual responses,
and the normal changes of our bodies as they age will create ease around
the topic of sexual issues.
- Stimulation: Ensuring that your partner is sufficiently
aroused prior to sexual activity, which can include anything from erotic
books and videos to clitoral stimulation, will properly prepare her
body for intercourse.
- Techniques: Learning sexual techniques that will
increase relaxation, decrease anxiety, and produce excitement, such
as acting out fantasies, listening to romantic music, and changing the
routine will likely put your partner in the mood.
- No pain: Trying positions that give the woman control
over the depth of penetration and using vaginal lubrication can alleviate
discomfort during intercourse.
- Undergoing therapy or counseling
prior to focusing on enhancing sexual activity
- Learning skills in conflict resolution, and working
through their differences in non-sexual areas of the relationship first
- Reserving weekly talk time or date time without the
- Learning to detach sex from affection so that neither
one is afraid to be affectionate on a daily basis – they must
understand that receiving a hug from their partner does not mean that
it will lead to sex
It is a slow and gradual process, but with the right amount of love and
understanding, problems in sexual arousal and desire can be battled. Usually,
circumstances like these tend to bring a couple closer together.
Sexual dysfunction affects both men and women. While many people are
embarrassed to discuss this issue, it is important to know that many sexual
dysfunctions are treatable. Talking to your partner and consulting with
your doctor are the first steps toward gaining control of your sex life.
Read about the symptoms
of Female Sexual Arousal Disorder (FASD).