By Dr. Vikas Deshmukh, Sexology
Males and females are afflicted with several types of impotency or sexual dysfunctions. In females, continuous and persistent issues with sexual desire, orgasm, sexual response or pain during sexual intercourse which lead to a number of problems in the relationship are collectively called, in medical terms, female sexual dysfunction, or in other words, female impotency.
Female impotency can occur at any stage of life. A large number of factors such as emotions, physiology, experiences, lifestyles, relationships and beliefs are capable of influencing sexual response. Disturbance in any component might have an adverse effect on the sexual arousal, desire or satisfaction. Treatment of such conditions can often involve more than a single approach.
Some of the sexual problems that females encounter include difficulty in reaching orgasm, loss of desire (low libido) for sex, vaginal dryness and tightness causing pain during sex. These are discussed below:
- Difficulty achieving orgasm:This is an incapability to achieve orgasms or delayed orgasms; this affects both men and women. Certain medications such as antidepressants can cause orgasmic disorders.
- Low Libido:Absence of sexual desire can be caused due to lesser amounts of ‘oestrogen’hormone in the system. Medications such as antidepressants as well as fatigue, depression and anxiety can also result in low libido.
- Vaginal Dryness:Improper lubrication of the vagina can result in painful sex which in turn affects libido, arousal and desire. Other reasons for vaginal dryness include hormonal changes during menopause and breastfeeding as well as psychological issues like anxiety about sex.
- Pain During Sex:A variety of reasons might be resulting in pain during sexual intercourse; ranging from simple and harmless issues such as the lack of arousal to severe conditions such as a cancerous growth.
Some factors may increase your risk of sexual dysfunction:
- Depression or anxiety
- Heart and blood vessel disease
- Neurological conditions, such as spinal cord injury or multiple sclerosis
- Liver or kidney failure
- Certain medications, such as antidepressants or high blood pressure medications
- Emotional or psychological stress, especially with regard to your relationship with your partner
- A history of sexual abuse
These are the range of available treatments for female impotence:
- Psychosexual counselling.
- Changing the type and hormonal content of the Pill you take.
- Stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system through exercise or excitement which raises blood pressure and heart rate.
- A change in diet, vitamin, mineral or herbal supplements, relaxation and exercise techniques.
- Testosterone treatment which is being trialed for women who are post menopausal or have had an hysterectomy.