Female sexual dysfunction is the Physical or psychological issue that interferes with a woman’s ability to enjoy sex. Persistent, repeated difficulties with sexual response, desire, orgasm, or pain that bother you or strain your connection with your partner could be the cause of this dysfunction. Many women share a concern about sexual dysfunction, but just like men are afraid to talk about ED, some women are hesitant or ashamed to share their sexual issues.
It is critical to speak with a doctor if you are experiencing female sexual dysfunction issues because most cases of female sexual dysfunction can be treated, and it is also normal. In our previous post, we looked at painful intercourse (DYSPAREUNIA).
Female sexual dysfunction can be classified as a medical disorder because it is linked to both psychological and biological factors that influence desire. The problems that impede a woman from having sexual satisfaction can arise at any stage of the sexual response cycle. Normal sexual function is a delicate balance of mind and body. According to studies, female sexual dysfunction becomes increasingly common as women get older.
This article will take you through the stages of normal female sexual function, types of sexual dysfunction in women, causes of sexual dysfunction in women, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments of female sexual dysfunction.
STAGES TO NORMAL SEXUAL FUNCTION IN WOMEN.
That is simply the desire for one to have sexual intercourse. Thoughts, words, views, smells, and touch can all elicit desire. Desire may be visible right away or develop after the lady gets her arousal.
It has a physical component in which blood flow to the genitals rises, causing swelling and lubrication, and a subjective element for which sensations or ideas of excitement are experienced. Here, the clitoris and vaginal walls enlarge in women due to increased blood flow.
Vaginal secretions, which offer lubrication, also increase when blood flow increases. The woman’s blood flow may also increase without her being aware of it or feeling stimulated.
This is the most enjoyful stage of sexual intercourse for women who are capable of achieving it. It involves muscle tension and contraction, which is the apex or climax of excitation. Muscle tension develops throughout the body just before orgasm—the muscles surrounding the vagina contract rhythmically when orgasm begins. Women may experience many orgasms.
That is the situation after orgasm, and there is muscular relaxation and a general feeling of well-being. The return to normal physiologic function is defined as a return to resting blood pressure and heart rate, the disappearance of sexual flush, and the cessation of involuntary muscle spasms.
TYPES OF SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION IN WOMEN.
1. Desire disorder
It is also referred to as Hypoactive sexual desire disorder. A woman with hypoactive sexual desire disorders has little or no interest in sexual activities.
2. Sexual arousal disorders.
Sexual arousal disorder occurs when a woman has difficulty becoming aroused or when her body does not respond to sexual activities. Whether or not sexual desire changes, it is the inability to become aroused or maintain arousal.
3. Orgasmic disorder.
A woman who is unable to orgasm or has difficulty achieving orgasm regularly has orgasmic dysfunction. These women, despite adequate arousal, can’t achieve an orgasm, have difficulty achieving orgasm, or have drastically lowered orgasm intensity.
4. Sexual pain disorder.
When a woman has pain during sex or genital stimulation, she is said to have sexual pain disorder. That is pain during sexual activity or pain associated with the vaginal touch or sexual stimulation.
CAUSES OF SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION IN WOMEN.
Female sexual dysfunction can have physical or psychological causes.
PHYSICAL CAUSES OF SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION IN WOMEN.
Sexual dysfunction can be caused or exacerbated by a variety of physical conditions and medications. Hormonal changes, which can occur naturally or as a result of a condition, can cause problems. Physical causes include;
1. Blood flow disorder.
According to certain studies, vascular diseases are to blame. Several illnesses may obstruct blood flow to portions of the female reproductive system. For sexual excitement, greater blood flow is required in the vagina, clitoris, and labia.
2. Underlying health conditions causing female sexual dysfunction
A variety of medical issues might have an impact on your capacity to enjoy sex. Diabetes, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, heart illness, cancer, kidney failure, and bladder issues can all contribute to sexual dysfunction. Addiction to drugs or alcohol can also make it difficult to have a healthy sexual encounter.
3. Gynecologic conditions.
Gynecological conditions also greatly alter the sexual function of women. Pain during sex can be caused by endometriosis, ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids, and vaginitis. Intercourse can also be made uncomfortable by vaginismus, a disorder that produces vaginal muscular spasms.
4. Hormonal changes leading to sexual dysfunctions in women
Hormone imbalances can lead to vaginal dryness or atrophy, making intercourse uncomfortable. Low estrogen levels can also cause vaginal discomfort. Hormone levels can be affected by menopause, surgery, and pregnancy.
5. Some medications and treatments.
Some drugs hurt sexual function. Antidepressants may decrease your desire for sex or your capacity to orgasm. Sexual adverse effects are more likely to occur with selective serotonin uptake inhibitors. Chemotherapy and other cancer therapies can alter hormone levels, which might lead to complications. Birth control pills, on the other hand, can cause low sex desire.
6. How menopause leads to female sexual dysfunction.
Menopause is another cause of female sexual dysfunction. Following menopause, a woman’s body and sexual urge may change due to the reduction of estrogen and testosterone. Women who are menopausal or postmenopausal may realize that they are less easily aroused and less responsive to touching and stroking. As a result, sex may become less appealing.
Sexual dysfunction worsens with age, and the dryness and vaginal atrophy associated with low estrogen can make arousal take longer or be more difficult to achieve.
Stress from work or home can make one not focus too much on sex. The hormone cortisol is said to be released during stress, and this lowers one’s sexual desire.
Depression might make you lose interest in activities you used to like, such as sex. Sexual dysfunction can be exacerbated by low self-esteem and depression.
3. Relationship issues lead to female sexual dysfunction
Some women may be dissatisfied with their spouse or bored during sexual activity. Other marital stressors, such as disagreements and a lack of communication, might lead to sexual dysfunction.
4. Sexual abuse from the past.
Anxiety and dread of intimacy might result from trauma or abuse. These emotions might make having sex difficult. Because of the circulation of bad thoughts and trauma from past experiences, a woman can find it hard to be aroused for sex.
SYMPTOMS OF SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION IN WOMEN.
- The inability to experience orgasm.
- Vaginal lubrication is insufficient before and during intercourse.
- Inability to sufficiently relax the vaginal muscles to allow for intercourse.
DIAGNOSIS OF SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION IN WOMEN.
In most circumstances, you’re always aware that something is interfering with your sexual pleasure. When this happens, talk to your doctor. When you speak to a doctor, a comprehensive history of symptoms and a physical examination are usually the first steps taken by your provider.
Your doctor might arrange diagnostic testing to rule out any medical issues that could be causing the malfunction. In most cases, lab testing serves a little role in the diagnosis of sexual dysfunction. Gynecologists make these diagnoses by examining whether there is scar tissue or weakening of the vaginal wall, resulting in painful intercourse.
Other possible contributing factors such as fear, anxiety, past sexual trauma/abuse, medications, alcohol or drug abuse help a clinician understand the underlying cause of the problem and recommend the appropriate treatment.
TREATMENTS FOR FEMALE SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION.
Treatments vary depending on the cause of the problem. However, regardless of the cause, some available remedies can be beneficial.
The only drugs approved to treat hypoactive sexual drive disorder in women are flibanserin and bremelanotide. Premenopausal women are the only ones who can benefit from this medication.
Other drugs that are used ‘off-label’ to treat sexual dysfunction may be discussed with your doctor. Doctors may also suggest Kegel exercises to strengthen pelvic muscles and improve orgasm. On the other hand, the doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medicines before sexual activity to reduce pain.
The doctor will test your hormones in the lab to see if you have an issue with estrogen, progesterone, or testosterone.
2. Hormone therapy.
Depending on your symptoms, your provider may offer topical creams, vaginally given drugs, or hormones taken orally or applied to your skin. The founding of ISSWSH, novel treatments that provide hope, and a surge in female sexuality research are all elements that have contributed to the increase in attention to female sexual function during the past years.
Therapy or counseling to help you cope with stress or worry or work through sex-related feelings of dread or shame. It may be beneficial to speak with a mental health expert. You can overcome emotional and psychological obstacles to have pleasurable sex. You have the option of having one-on-one or couple counseling.
4. Pain management.
Some techniques can achieve pain relief during intercourse. Before intercourse, you can experiment with different sexual positions, vaginal lubricants, and relaxation techniques. Vaginal dilators may also be discussed with your provider.
5. Arousal techniques.
Discuss alternative strategies to increase desire and arousal with your spouse. Make alterations to your sexual schedule if necessary. You could also experiment with erotic items like sexual stimulation devices, videos, books, massage, and masturbation: vibrators and other tools to enhance arousal.
6. Practicing healthy habits
Practicing healthy habits greatly helps in treating female sexual dysfunction. Healthy habits include; limiting alcohol, avoiding smoking, exercising regularly, and eating a balanced diet.
7. Making time for sex
Making time for sex can help improve closeness with your relationship and more open communication between you and your lover.
8. Talk to your partner
If you feel you have sexual dysfunction issues, it is critical to talk to your partner about it. If you don’t, you could end up generating relationship problems. If you do not talk about it and avoid sex, your spouse may feel rejected, leading to misunderstandings and withdrawal.
9. Check on your diet
A good diet and adequate vitamin and nutrient consumption might affect your libido and energy levels. Food refuels your body and offers the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients required to repair, maintain good health, and improve performance. In and out of the bedroom, eating well will help you perform at your best.
According to research, traditional Mediterranean meals, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seafood, and healthy fats from nuts and olive oil, have been proven to enhance sexual function in women with diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
Other non-medical ways to deal with female sexual dysfunction
- Start Kegel exercises, for they may help to strengthen your pelvic muscles.
- You can try vaginal weights.
- Observe all the feminine health hygiene tips, most especially visiting a doctor always for checkups.
To conclude, we can see that it is beneficial for a woman to be aware of a healthy sexual response requirement. However, because many women suffer from multiple types of sexual dysfunction, various treatments are frequently required. There are also other therapy options.
What do you do to ensure you enjoy intercourse?