When a woman is unable to fully, healthily, and pleasurably experience some or all of the numerous physical stages that the body ordinarily experiences during sexual activity, she is said to have female sexual dysfunction. These stages are known as the desire phase, arousal phase, and orgasm phase, respectively. Painful intercourse is also a sign of sexual dysfunction.
Sexual dysfunction in women manifests itself in a variety of ways and is caused by a variety of factors. To fix the problems, it’s critical to treat all parts of a woman’s sexuality, whether physical, psychological, physiological (mechanical) or interpersonal.
Sexual dysfunction in women is fairly frequent. It is estimated that roughly 40% of sexually active women suffer from some form of sexual dysfunction, with approximately 5% of women unable to reach orgasm.
Female sexual dysfunction can be caused by physical, psychological, or a combination of both reasons. It could also be a technical issue: some women never fully experience sexual excitement and orgasm due to a lack of sexual understanding on their behalf or that of their partners. They may not grasp how female sex organs respond to stimulation or respond to stimulation, or they may not apply proper arousal tactics.
Sexual dysfunction, on the other hand, has a major interpersonal component. Culture, society, and personal experience all have an impact on a person’s perception of their sexuality. It could be linked to their personal or society’s notions about what constitutes proper or inappropriate sexual behavior. Because of a personal or cultural link of sexual experience and pleasure with immorality and bad behavior, these feelings may generate worry. Anxiety is then physically expressed by the body, preventing optimal sexual function. Anxiety can accomplish this, for example, by interrupting or decreasing the state of sexual desire that allows for the lubrication or moistening of the female genitalia – a necessary step toward gratifying kinds of sexual engagement.
Sexual dysfunction is influenced by one’s personality, disposition, and life experiences. Arousal issues can be exacerbated by a fear of closeness. Abuse in childhood, as well as in previous or current relationships, can start a pattern of associating sex with psychological or physical suffering. In certain situations, attempting sexual activity creates more psychological or bodily anguish. Sexual intercourse, for example, might be painful if anxiety hinders lubrication.
Sexual dysfunction can be caused by conflict, tension, and incompatibility with a sexual relationship. Depression could be the root of the problem, with stress playing a role as well. Sexual dysfunction is frequently caused by medications such as antihypertensives, antidepressants, and tranquilizers. If you’re taking any of these drugs, talk to your doctor about how they might be contributing to your sexual issues.
Disorders of the genitalia and urinary systems, such as endometriosis, cystitis, vaginal dryness, or vaginitis, are physical causes. Other medical diseases that affect sexual desire and abilities include hypothyroidism, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and muscular dystrophy. If a woman’s self-image has been harmed, surgical removal of the uterus or a breast may contribute psychologically to sexual dysfunction.
The majority of cases involve a combination of factors. Sexual dysfunction can also be caused by certain prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as the use of illegal drugs or alcohol misuse. Women’s sexual arousal may be affected by cigarette smoking and fat.
Although women can be sexually active and have orgasms for the rest of their lives, sexual activity typically declines after the age of 60. While a lack of partners may play a role, changes such as vaginal dryness caused by a lack of estrogen after menopause can make intercourse uncomfortable and lower desire. Women’s sexual interest declines significantly after menopause.
Symptoms and Consequences
Women who have had unsatisfactory sexual experiences with their partners frequently express the following:
insufficient sexual desire (low libido)
inability to achieve orgasm a decrease in the intensity of orgasm discomfort or another difficulty during penile penetration an inability to fantasize about sexual circumstances indifference to, or aversion towards, having sex feelings of fear or hatred towards their partners
Almost all of these reactions have psychological ramifications. Many women are likely to feel inadequate or dysfunctional, whether the symptoms are caused by medical reasons such as menopause or more deep-seated psychological triggers. They blame themselves for not being sexually responsive, struggle to communicate their feelings to their partners, and suffer from low self-esteem as a result.
Making a Probable Diagnosis
Half the battle is figuring out what’s causing your sexual dysfunction. The stage of sexual activity in which a woman is having difficulties may provide some insight. Physical and psychological testing may reveal more evidence. Your primary care physician can send you to experts who can assist you figure out what’s causing the issue.
A lady with sexual desire disorder has a decreased desire to have sex. If the lack of desire is new and affects all partners and circumstances, the doctor would likely look at drugs, medical disorders including depression, hormonal abnormalities, or neurotransmitter imbalances (chemical messengers in the brain). Sexual desire problem, on the other hand, maybe caused by interpersonal variables if it is limited to one partner or one setting.
Even after being sexually stimulated, a woman’s failure to get lubricated, aroused, or sexually excited is known as sexual arousal dysfunction.
Orgasmic disorder describes a lady who enjoys sexual activity but finds it difficult or takes a long time to achieve orgasm. Except in situations of nerve injury in the spine, physical causes are uncommon. Psychological aspects can include things like never learning how to have an orgasm, having unreasonable expectations from a partner, and feeling guilty about having fun. Only when a woman has no problems with arousal but only with climax is orgasmic dysfunction diagnosed.
Prevention and Treatment
Seeing a health care practitioner for an assessment and proper treatment is the first step in addressing female sexual dysfunction.
Physical ailments must be addressed. Vaginal lubricants, moisturizers, or estrogen medication (such as a vaginal cream, vaginal ring, or low-dose tablet taken by mouth) can help with sexual dysfunction caused by aging and vaginal dryness. Medications that are suspected of causing sexual dysfunction should be switched to another if at all possible. Flibanserin*, a medicine for premenopausal women who have poor sexual desire and find it distressing, was recently approved. This drug must be used regularly, and it has the potential to induce major side effects, particularly when mixed with alcohol.
Counseling from a psychiatrist, psychologist, or sex therapist may help to remove or lessen the causes when psychological concerns are at the forefront. If a woman’s background includes trauma, or problems stemming from stress or relationships, psychotherapy may be more beneficial. A sexual partner is more useful in boosting the chances of learning to experience orgasm in therapy.
Women should learn how their sex organs work and how they can respond to cure and avoid sexual dysfunction. The vaginal muscle is like a muscle, and inactivity makes it tougher to utilize. Masturbation and Kegel exercises, for example, can improve blood flow to the vaginal area, making sex more comfortable. Kegel exercises can strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and make it easier for women to achieve orgasm.
This is a technique that can be used by women of all ages to increase sexual satisfaction.
Tighten your pelvic floor muscles for 3 seconds, then relax for 3 seconds, and repeat 10 times.
Gradually increase the time until you are tightening and relaxing the muscles for 10 seconds each.