Sexual Dysfunction in Females
Sexual dysfunction is any pain, desire, orgasm or sexual response that discomforts you or your sexual partner or puts a strain on your sexual relationship. Most women experience these sexual discomforts at some point in their lives, and some live with it throughout their life. Some sexual discomfort accompanies a particular stage in life, occurring in specific or all sexual situations.
Sexual responses always involve a complex mix of emotions, beliefs, physiology, experiences and relationships. If any of these are affected, it affects sexual arousal, satisfaction, or desire. Treatment of female sexual dysfunction involves several approaches due to the different factors that contribute to it.
Symptoms of female sexual dysfunction
The symptoms of sexual dysfunction vary, and it depends on the type of dysfunction experienced at the time. The symptoms include:
- Sexual arousal disorder
In this case, you may still desire sex but find it difficult to get aroused or cannot become aroused or stay aroused during any sexual activity.
- Orgasmic disorder
This occurs when you find it difficult to have an orgasm after being sexually aroused and stimulated.
- A low desire for sex
This is the most common symptom of sexual dysfunction in females, and it involves unwillingness or lack of interest in sexual activities.
- Sexual pain disorder
This occurs when you experience pain when sexually aroused or have vaginal contact.
When you should see a doctor
Endeavour to see a doctor if you have any sexual problem that strains or affects your relationship with your sexual partner. Book an appointment online at any London based STI clinic if the problem worries you.
Causes of female sexual dysfunction
You could have sexual problems due to an influx in your hormones like during menopause or after childbirth. Other health issues like diabetes, heart diseases, blood vessel diseases, and cancer, can also cause sexual dysfunction.
The following factors are often interrelated and lead to sexual dysfunction and dissatisfaction.
- Physical factors
Health conditions like cancer, bladder problems, kidney failure, heart diseases, and multiple sclerosis can contribute to sexual dysfunction. Medications like chemotherapy drugs, antidepressants, antihistamines, and blood pressure medications can reduce your ability to have an orgasm and reduce your sexual urge.
When your oestrogen levels are low, like, during menopause, it may cause some changes in your genital tissues, and this affects your sexual response. When your oestrogen level is low, it results in inadequate blood flow to the pelvic area, and this causes less sensation in the genital and makes arousal and orgasm more difficult to achieve.
The vaginal lining usually gets less elastic and thinner, especially if you are no longer sexually active leading to pain when you eventually have sexual intercourse (dyspareunia). Decreased hormone levels also lead to a decrease in sexual desire.
After childbirth and while breastfeeding, a woman may have unbalanced hormone levels, and this causes a low desire for sex and dryness of the vagina.
- Social and psychological
If you have anxiety and depression issues, and you do not treat them, they could affect your sex life and lead to sexual dysfunction. A history of sexual abuse and extended period of experiencing stress also contributes to sexual dysfunction.
Pregnancy comes with its issues and worries. These things and the demands of being a mother may lead to sexual dysfunction.
Having issues with your partner about sex-related issues and other aspects of the relationship can reduce your sexual desire and responsiveness. Some religious and cultural issues or problems that concern the body may also contribute to sexual dysfunction.
Factors like the following may increase the risk of having a sexual dysfunction.
- Anxiety or depression
- Blood vessel and heart problems
- Neurological conditions like spinal cord injury
- Medications like blood pressure drugs or antidepressant
- Gynaecological conditions like lichen sclerosus, infections, or vulvovaginal atrophy
- Sexual abuse in the past
- Psychological or emotional stress
If you experience any symptom of sexual dysfunction or you need STI testing services in London, visit STI Clinic London or call us on 020 1783 0649 to book an appointment with one of our sexual health experts.