Female Sexual Dysfunction: Management & Treatment
A sexual dysfunction, or sexual problem, refers to a condition in which an individual or a couple faces issues at any stage of the sexual response cycle. Due to this, the level of satisfaction they usually get is very less.
Scientific studies suggest that about 31% of men and 43% of women experience sexual problems. The condition is widespread, yet many individuals hesitate to discuss it. You would be happy to know that most of the sexual problems are treatable and so set aside your hesitation and share your difficulties with your partner and doctor.
What Is Female Sexual Dysfunction?
Female sexual dysfunction (FSD) refers to a condition in which women experience persistent, recurrent issues with sexual desire, response, orgasm, and pain. It causes significant distress between them and their partner.
Many women experience sexual difficulties at some point in their life. As long as the problem doesn’t occur frequently, there’s no need to consult a doctor.
Female sexual dysfunctions are curable. There are many medical and non-medical procedures available for the treatment. Read the complete article and get awareness about the same.
How Do Sexual Problems Affect Women?
Sexual response cycle involves the following four phases:
- Low Sexual Desire: It is one of the most common female sexual dysfunctions, and involves reduced sexual desire or interest in sex. Several factors may contribute to the low sexual desire such as certain medical conditions, hormonal changes and treatments (like chemotherapy), stress, depression, fatigue and pregnancy. Regular sexual activities and lifestyle factors (such as career or taking care of children) may also sometimes cause low sexual desire.
- Inability To Become Aroused: The condition is also usually referred to as sexual arousal disorder. Your sexual desire may be perfect, but you face issues with arousal. Either you are unable to get aroused or maintain arousal during sexual intercourse. It mainly happens due to insufficient lubrication in the vagina. In some cases, anxiety and inadequate stimulation can also be a potential cause for your sexual arousal disorder. Moreover, researchers are analyzing how morbidities affecting the clitoris and vagina may bring about arousal disorders.
- Lack Of Orgasm: It is also called anorgasmia and refers to delayed or absence of orgasm or sexual climax. It is usually caused by lack of knowledge, inexperience, sexual hindrance and physiological causes like guild, anxiety, past sexual abuse or trauma. Other factors leading to anorgasmia include certain medications, chronic ailments, and inadequate stimulation.
- Painful Intercourse: You will experience pain during intercourse, and it can be caused by various problems including ovarian cysts, endometriosis, inadequate lubrication, pelvic mass, inflammation of the vagina (called vaginitis), a sexually transmitted infection, and the presence of scar tissue resulted from a surgery. A medical condition called vaginismus is a spontaneous and painful muscle spasm that binds the vaginal entrance. It can occur in women who fear that the penetration would be too painful and may also emanate from a sexual phobia or past painful or traumatic experience.
How Is Female Sexual Dysfunction Diagnosed?
A physical exam diagnoses FSD in women and the symptoms being experienced. The doctor may take a pelvic exam with a pap smear test to investigate any cancer or precancerous transformations in the cervix. The doctor may order some other diagnostic tests as well to rule out other possible causes of your sexual dysfunction. You may be asked about problems in your relationship, attitudes towards sexual activities, past sexual abuse or trauma and overuse of drug or alcohol to ascertain if any of these psychological factors are leading to the dysfunction. Your age also has a vital role in the possible diagnosis of FSD.
How Is Female Sexual Dysfunction Treated?
Several types of female sexual dysfunctions can be cured by determining the potential physical or psychological issues. Generally, it demands the cooperation between the female patient, doctors, and therapists involved in the treatment. The partner of the patient can also be an integral part of the procedure.
The doctor may recommend you do the following -
- Communicate: Open communication with your partner makes a significant difference in your sexual satisfaction. Share your likes and likes, and ask them the same. Knowing each other is a great way to set the stage for an improved level of intimacy.
- Seek Counselling: Choose a counsellor or therapist who is specialized in treating sexual disorders. The treatment generally involves providing information about the ways to improve your body’s sexual response, to enhance intimacy with your partner, and advice for reading specific stuff or performing couple exercises.
- Practising Healthy Lifestyle Habits: Limit alcohol consumption as intake of too much alcohol can diminish your sexual responsiveness. Exercise regularly because being physically active will enhance your stamina and improve your mood, inducing romantic feelings. Explore the optimum ways by which you can reduce your stress levels so that you can concentrate more and enjoy sexual activities.
- Utilizing A Lubricant: If you experience vaginal dryness or pain during sexual intercourse, using a lubricant would be a great idea.
- Utilizing A Device: Arousal disorder can be improved with stimulation of the clitoris. Utilize a vibrator to provide better clitoral stimulation.
- Estrogen Therapy: It comes in the form of a tablet, cream or vaginal ring. It enhances sexual functioning by improving vaginal elasticity and tone, resulting in increased blood flow and improved lubrication. The risks of the therapy rely on your age, and your risk for other medical conditions, including cancer and blood vessels or heart disease. It also depends upon the type of hormone, the dosage, and whether you are taking estrogen alone or along with progestin.
- Androgen Therapy: Androgen incorporates testosterone, a hormone which is significant in maintaining healthy sexual functioning in both men and women. Women have much lesser levels of this hormone, but they still need them in specific amounts. The benefits achieved with testosterone therapy for curing female sexual dysfunction is a bit controversial. Some researchers say that the treatment benefits those women who have low levels of testosterone in their blood, while others claim that it offers very little or no benefit at all.
- Flibanserin: The drug was initially known to be an antidepressant. Later it was found that the medication can address low sexual desire in premenopausal women, and soon got approval from the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Taking one pill daily - can improve sex drive in those women who experience a lack of interest in sex. Taking the drug can cause specific side effects fainting, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, and low blood pressure. The side effects are rare and generally caused to people who consume alcohol while on this drug. Healthcare specialists recommend not to take medications if it has already been eight months while taking this medication, yet you see no improvement.
- Ospemifene: This drug is a selective estrogen receptor modulator. It reduces pain during sexual intercourse for women having vulvovaginal atrophy.