Sexual dysfunction is a common problem across the globe. Talking about females, 30-50% of the total population is affected by sexual dysfunction at some point in their lives.
A woman’s body undergoes numerous changes in her life. Puberty, pregnancy, postpartum, and menopause are not easy to deal with.
Short-term loss of libido and lack of interest in sex is fine. In the long run, it might be detrimental. Sexual dysfunction has various symptoms.
A woman may have at least one or more of these symptoms. To know more about female sexual dysfunction, stay tuned.
What Is Sexual Dysfunction?
Any form of disinterest or abnormal symptoms like painful sex, lack of arousal and not finding pleasure in sexual intercourse is a form of sexual dysfunction. It is categorized into four types.
Lack Of Orgasm
Orgasmic disorders prevent a woman from achieving orgasm even after being stimulated and aroused.
Anorgasmia is one such disorder that delays or reduces the frequency of orgasms. In some cases, there is no orgasm at all.
Sex is supposed to be a pleasure and not pain. Unfortunately, some medical problems lead to painful sex. Such pain in the genital area during intercourse is called dyspareunia.
This pain may be internal, external, or both. Another painful condition is vaginismus. The muscle contraction leads to problems in penetration, resulting in pain.
Sex drive is important to initiate something spicy between you and your partner.
Low libido causes disinterest in sex. Occasionally it is fine. Everyone has low libido for some period. A prolonged loss of sex drive is sexual dysfunction.
It is different from orgasmic disorders. When a female is suffering from a lack of arousal even after stimulation. The person loses interest in sex and has no fantasies due to this disorder.
Sexual Aversion Disorder
It is the reluctance or unwillingness to indulge in any genital contact with the partner during sexual activity.
What Causes Dysfunction In Females?
There are varied reasons responsible for causing sexual dysfunction in females. Some of the possible reasons.
A few medicines may affect sexual desires and the reproductive system. The impact could be mild or severe.
Antidepressant medication pills are related to loss of libido. According to a study, 72% of women reported problems with sexual desires after using antidepressants.
Also, 83% of females faced problems with arousal. One such class of antidepressants is SSRI( Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor).
Likewise, chemotherapy and radiation treatment for cancer. It affects ovaries, and vaginal tissues and causes a lack of lube.
As well as, high blood pressure medicinal pills like beta blockers and diuretics cause loss of libido and decreased vaginal sensation.
Anabolic steroids widely popular to build muscle and bone mass are also related to sexual dysfunction.
Lack Of Blood Flow To The Vagina
Several medical conditions result in decreased blood flow to the genital area. Low estrogen levels are the primary reason for less blood flow to the vagina.
Other reasons may be bad blood circulation and medicines. The lack of blood results in thinning of vaginal tissues.
Hence, sensation with stimulation decreases. Moreover, pain is likely to be experienced.
Females experience hormonal fluctuations more frequently. The female body goes through several changes from monthly menstrual cycles to childbirth.
Estrogen is among the most important female sex hormones. Low levels of estrogen may affect almost everything related to females. It decreases sex drive, lubrication, and sexual pleasure.
The study explains that pregnancy may also affect sexual activity. During menopause, estrogen and testosterone levels drop, causing a declining interest in sexual activity.
Vaginal atrophy is one such issue. Menopause and postmenopause period results in thinning of vaginal tissues and dryness.
Such a situation leads to rough sex-inducing pain. Vaginal atrophy also includes frequent urinary tract infections.
Frequent urinary tract infections could also lead to sexual dysfunction. This reason could be really obvious.
Hence, you might want to maintain clean hygiene and make sure that you can clean your private parts when you are taking a bath.
This will make sure that there are any fungi or bacteria residing in any of your private parts that might lead to a UTI kind of infection.
One could also try home remedies for UTI treatments to ensure you can be old as quickly as possible.
Prolonged Chronic Illness
Medical conditions that stretch over a long time affect sex life. Some medical conditions include type 2 diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, cancer, and heart problems.
Obesity affects sexual intercourse by controlling stamina, performance, and arousal. Cancer is very challenging for a person already.
Along with pain, the patient experiences weakness and frequent breakdowns. Heart problems or their treatments like bypass surgery do not leave any space for making love.
Just like any physical illness, mental health also affects performance. Cognitive impairment is also responsible for disrupted sex life.
Any illness like this may have a short-term or long-term impact on your performance and arousal.
Depression And Stress
Both depression and stress are serious concerns for a healthy life. People suffering from such problems have a difficult time finding pleasure in sexual stimulation and arousal.
Stress is related to a hormone called cortisol. According to research, cortisol suppresses sexual desires. Antidepressants, as mentioned above, affect libido to a great extent.
Poor Self Confidence
Humans often try to fit into societal norms. A body looking different from beauty standards instigate a sense of guilt and alienation.
In the case of low estrogen, the breast does not develop fully and periods are irregular.
In the case of high estrogen, bloating and increased symptoms of PMS may be observed. Such troubles are mentally exhausting.
Due to insecurities, many females withdraw themselves from indulging in sexual activity. Even if they try to, it affects their performance and they experience no pleasure in it.
Unhealthy relationships also create a huge impact on one’s mind.
Toxic, abusive relationships cause uneasiness between the couple and one might even refuse to participate in sexual activity.
Several females report negative experiences with their partners as a reason for fear and trouble finding pleasure.
Several accidents result in injuries to reproductive organs. Even if a female sustains injury on other body parts that damages nerves, it impacts the blood flow to the genital area.
In both cases, sex becomes painful. Another common cause of injury is childbirth.
A lot of women go through more than labor pain to bloom a life. Such injuries may cause sexual dysfunction.
A sound sleep of 6-8 hours is a must for rejuvenating energy. Lack of proper rest messes up the hormonal balance.
Loss of libido is females’ most commonly reported issue due to lack of sleep. Insomnia worsens this even more.
Eating oily, unhealthy, and processed food increase the chances of obesity. It may, in turn, increase sexual dysfunction.
Moreover, consumption of alcohol and smoking are linked to decreased sex drive.
Lack Of Communication With Partners
In the long run, some women have trouble seeking pleasure from their partners. This might be due to a lack of time devoted to communication.
Also, trying something new might drive away the feeling of boredom.
How Is Female Sexual Dysfunction Diagnosed?
There are several ways to diagnose sexual dysfunction. The examination depends on the type of dysfunction.
The doctor generally begins with a few questions to get a better understanding of your past experiences and troubles you are facing.
If required, the doctor prescribes hormonal tests. In case of gynecologic issues, the gynecologist physically examines the genital area for checking the pelvic floor.
Image testing is done if the doctor is skeptical of a tumor or cyst. If the problem is due to psychological factors, a counselor is more likely to help determine the cause.
The diagnosis of sexual dysfunction is mainly painless. Symptoms of slight discomfort might be faced in the diagnosis of pain-related sexual dysfunction.
Treatment For Curing Sexual Dysfunction
Depending on the type of sexual dysfunction, the possible treatments are,
This treatment is given for sexual dysfunction caused by hormonal imbalance.
Depending on the severity and symptoms, the doctor recommends certain creams or pills to balance the hormonal levels.
Supplementation could be taken orally or applied to the skin. Menopausal women are usually given testosterone boosters to improve libido.
If the cause is trauma from the past, a toxic relationship, or a misunderstanding with the partner, counseling is the right treatment.
Talking openly about your experiences might help find the cause and even treat the problem correctly.
A massage may help you increase blood flow to the genital area, perform yourself, and help increase vaginal sensation and arousal. It is better if done by the partner.
Bonding With The Partner
Take out time to communicate what is going wrong between you two. Making out time for each other and doing romantic things might help ignite the spark.
Focus more on female stimulation techniques. Try out different things to find your way to pleasure.
Some medications could help improve sex drive in females. Your doctor might prescribe some medication as per your requirements.
Tight pelvic muscles and less flexibility are some hurdles that may lead to painful sex. Adding a few exercises to your workout routine might bring about some change.
Knowing your body better, using electric stimulation such as a vibrator, or, watching videos or certain books might help you improve your sex drive.
It is the most crucial part of any procedure. Taking care of yourself is a must. Sleeping on time, and avoiding alcohol and smoking will help you get better health.
You might see a change for good in your sexual desires. You may include some foods in your diet that may help in boosting your estrogen or testosterone.
Sexual dysfunction is common in women. A few causes are hormonal imbalance, unhealthy lifestyle, trauma, and medical conditions. Treatment is decided by the type of problem faced.
If you feel disinterested in sexual activity sometimes, it is normal. But if you feel the problem is not occasional, seek medical help.
A simple one-on-one interaction with the doctor or physical examination might help find the underlying cause. Therapy and medicines offer great help in curing sexual dysfunction.
It is just like other medical problems. So share your feelings with your partner and doctor freely to help find your pleasure.
Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed research, academic, and medical institution studies.
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Otella has an experience of around eight years of writing about health and nutrition-related topics. She is a full-time mother and a housewife, and the time she has left after doing her mother and household duties is spent writing for Working for Health as a full-time writer. Her life goal is to raise both her boys into a gentleman, and at the same time, she wants to educate people on how to keep themselves fit by tweaking their daily diet.