By Dr. Purushottam Sah, Sexology
Males and females are afflicted with several types of 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.
Female sexual dysfunctions 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. High blood sugar may cause it.
- Low Libido: Absence of sexual desire can be caused due to thyroid and Prolactin hormone abnormality. 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 pelvic inflammation or endometriosis.
Risk Factors- 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
- Diabetes, abnormality of thyroid and Prolactin hormones.
- 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 Treatments-
These are the range of available treatments for female sexual dysfunctions Psychosexual counseling.
- Changing the type and hormonal content of the Pill you take.
- A change in diet, vitamin, mineral supplements, relaxation and exercise techniques.
- DHEA treatment is off label use in women who are post menopausal or have had hysterectomy.