Female Sexual Dysfunction
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Female sexual dysfunction refers to problems that prevents the individual or couple
from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual activity.
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- Chronic diseases - Such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease
or liver failure, neurological diseases
- Hormonal imbalances - Decrease in the female hormone estrogen is related
to aging and menopause. These hormonal imbalances produce changes in
the body like poor vaginal lubrication, decline in sexual arousal, decreased
genital sensation and orgasm. These changes play a very vital role in
sexual activity and the level of satisfaction obtained by the sexual
- Menopause - The loss of estrogen and emotional changes during menopause
are major contributors to a woman's loss of interest in sex and ability
to become aroused. However, some post-menopausal women may experience
an increase in sexual satisfaction. This may be due to decreased anxiety
over getting pregnant. In addition, women of this age group have fewer
responsibilities towards children and family, allowing them to relax
and enjoy intimacy with their sexual partners.
- Hysterectomy - Surgical removal of the uterus produces similar changes
as menopause that may be associated with the hormonal changes. Furthermore,
nerves and blood vessels which are vital to sexual function can be damaged
during the surgical procedure.
- Inhibited sexual desire - This involves a lack of sexual desire or
interest in sex. Major contributing factors for this problem include
hormonal changes, medical conditions and treatments such as cancer chemotherapy,
depression, pregnancy, stress and fatigue.
- Inability to become physically aroused - This problem may be due to
insufficient vaginal lubrication, anxiety or inadequate stimulation
by the sexual partner. The blood vessels and nerves supplying the vagina
and clitoris may be severed during hysterectomy other other operations
involving the vagina and clitoris.
- Lack of orgasm or anorgasmia - This problem involves delay or absence
of sexual climax (orgasm). It can be caused by sexual inhibition, inexperience,
lack of knowledge of sex. Psychological factors such as guilt, anxiety
or a past sexual trauma or abuse, certain medications, chronic diseases,
insufficient stimulation by the sexual partner are major contributing
- Painful intercourse or dyspareunia - This can be caused by a number
of problems, including endometriosis, a pelvic mass, ovarian cysts,
vaginitis, poor lubrication, the presence of scar tissue from surgery
and a sexually transmitted disease. There may be painful, involuntary
spasm of the muscles surrounding the vaginal entrance. This condition
is called vaginismus. This may occur in women who are afraid of the
pain that they might experience during penetration or from a previous
traumatic or painful experience.
- Alcohol and drug abuse.
- These include work-related stress and anxiety, concern about sexual
performance, marital or relationship problems, depression, feelings
of guilt and the effects of a past sexual trauma.
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Many women experience problem with sexual function and intimacy at some point
in their lives. However, when the problems become persistent, they can be a tremendous
cause of distress and have a negative impact on the relationship of a couple.
If these problems are consistent, consult your physician immediately as these
problems may be due to causes that are treatable and reversible such as painful
intercourse due to a cyst or a benign growth in the vagina or lack of interest
in sex due to hormonal imbalance. An evaluation and treatment of the underlying
cause by your physician can certainly impact the outlook for sexual dysfunction.
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- Education about human body, sexual activity and functions, normal sexual
changes associated with aging, sexual behaviors and responses, may help a
woman to overcome her anxieties in these areas.
- Learn techniques to enhances and methods to enhance sexual stimulation by
the use of erotic materials such as videos or books, masturbation, and changes
to sexual routines and positions. This may eliminate anxiety, increase the
level of relaxation make sexual activity more fun and gratifying.
- Encourage physically stimulating activities such as sensual massage, a warm
bath or lighting scented candles can be used to promote comfort and increase
the level of relaxation between partners.
- If the act of intercourse is painful, use sexual positions that allow the
woman to control the depth of penetration. This may help may help relieve
some pain. The use of vaginal lubricants can help reduce pain that may be
caused by friction.
- Consult your physician for an evaluation of your attitude regarding sex
such as fear, anxiety, past sexual trauma or abuse, relationship problems,
alcohol or drug abuse etc.
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