What Is Female Sexual Dysfunction?
Female sexual dysfunction is defined as a problem with sex, whether due to complete lack of desire or pain during sex. Causes include:
- Age — Estrogen levels drop with age and during and after menopause. This can lead to vaginal dryness and pain during sex.
- Health conditions — Common contributors to female sexual dysfunction include diabetes, heart disease, cancer, arthritis, multiple sclerosis and depression.
- Life situations — The stresses of everyday life, childbirth, breastfeeding, past sexual trauma and relationship issues can contribute to sexual problems.
- Medications — Those for blood pressure, depression and pain may lead to decreased libido.
Sexual dysfunction is complicated and may present in various ways:
- Lack of arousal — A woman may experience no physical or emotional changes during sexual stimulation.
- Lack of desire — A woman may grow concerned about her lack of desire for any sexual activity or thoughts.
- Lack of orgasm — When a woman doesn’t have an orgasm during sex and is concerned, she may have this disorder.
- Pain — Consistent pain during intercourse or other sexual activities could indicate a problem.
A variety of treatments are available:
- Counseling — Both marital counseling and sex therapy can help couples overcome the psychological and relationship barriers to a satisfying sex life.
- EROS clitoral therapy device — This FDA-approved device increases blood flow to the genitals to help women with arousal.
- Estrogen — Available in creams, suppositories or oral medications (hormone therapy), estrogen may benefit women who experience dryness and painful sex.
- Managing medications — Changing dosages or finding alternative therapies may help alleviate sexual dysfunction.
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