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Female Sexual Dysfunction

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.

Treatment Options

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.

Ready for an Appointment?

If you're experiencing signs or symptoms of female sexual dysfunction, schedule an appointment or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) today.

Learn more about our doctors and care team who diagnose and treat female sexual dysfunction.