Sexual Dysfunction and Disorder in Women
Sexual dysfunction and four phases of a normal sexual cycle were discussed yesterday. Today, we are going to have a discussion about sexual dysfunction in women.
Sexual Dysfunction in Women
Sexual dysfunction in women is the result of hormonal imbalance, medical disorders, sexually transmitted infections, genital malignancies and psychological issues that may present as a combination of painful orgasm, lack of libido and difficulty in arousal and orgasm. Here are some of the frequently reported sexual disorders in women.
- Inability to achieve orgasm: Orgasm is an involuntary state in which muscle contraction and release of bodily fluids is spontaneous due to intense sexual stimulation. There are certain conditions that makes it difficult for a woman to achieve sexual orgasm. Medications such as anti-depressants and CNS depressants or related medical/ psychological conditions are some examples.
- Painful intercourse: Dyspareunia or painful intercourse is a common condition that affects 10 to 40% females (1). Most common causes include; dry vagina, atrophic vaginitis (in post-menopausal women), vaginal infection, urinary tract infection, cervical polyp or psychological issues. In addition, endometriosis and chronic disorders such as vulvo vestibulitis etc. can also cause burning sensation during intercourse. Untreated dyspareunia is very likely to affect the quality of sexual function.
- Decreased libido: Also known as decreased sexual desires is usually caused by hormonal imbalance, especially low estrogen levels. Other popular causes include; anxiety, depression, long-term use of anti-depressants or other psychological causes (such as dislike for the partner, dislike for the act of intercourse or other sexual preferences).
- Vaginal dryness: Vaginal dryness results from hormonal imbalance (such as low estrogen levels due to menopause), use of CNS depressant medications and lack of appropriate sexual stimuli. In addition, stress, anxiety and psychological issues can also lead to vaginal dryness.
- Hayes, R.D., et al., What can prevalence studies tell us about female sexual difficulty and dysfunction? J Sex Med, 2006. 3(4): p. 589-95.