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Sexual dysfunction in women is a common and complex condition that can have a significant impact on a woman’s quality of life. It can manifest in a variety of ways, including difficulty with sexual desire, arousal, orgasm, and pain during intercourse.
Sexual dysfunction is a problem experienced by women which prevent them from having satisfaction during an intercourse due to lack of interest, sexual dysfunctions arises due to a physical, hormonal or psychological condition and can also influence the ability to get aroused or experience an orgasm, these experiences are evident in the pains a woman experiences during intercourse and a spontaneous muscles contraction around the vaginal. Sexual Dysfunction in women is a disorder that can be linked to many causes. One of the most common forms of sexual dysfunction in women is hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), which is characterized by a lack of interest in sexual activity. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including hormonal changes, relationship issues, and psychological conditions such as depression and anxiety.
Symptoms Of Sexual Dysfunction In Women
– A decline in vaginal lubrication
– Pains and a feeling of soreness during intercourse
– Dwindling sense of arousal (low libido)
– Struggling or having problems with climaxing (achieving orgasm).
– Pains during penetration
– Lack of interest in sex
– A feeling of irritation towards one’s partner.
It also affect one’s reaction as it concerns the sexual response cycle.
The sexual response cycle includes:
1. Desire: This is the first phase of the sexual response cycle, a strong feeling of wanting to have sex. Here, the muscle tension increases and blood flows to the genital. You are getting set.
2. Arousal: This is the verge of orgasm, at this point, the clitoris becomes very sensitive (it’s on fire) and the man’s testicle are drawn up into the scrotum. (The storm is raging at this point).
3. Orgasm: Waoh! This is the high point. (Moaning upandan). In this phase you experience involuntary muscle contraction and an impulsive sex flush all over the body.
4. Resolution: The body returns gradually to its usual level of operation with a noticeable sense of fulfillment and fatigue though. The woman may return to the phase of orgasm with more sexual stimulation if she desire to have multiple orgasm while the man may need time to recover after orgasm in order to ‘charge up’.
But when you’re experiencing sexual dysfunction, the sexual response cycle is affected making it so difficult to enjoy sex.
Categories Of Sexual Dysfunction
1. Disorder of desire: There are times you are in the mood for having sex, feeling so horny, and there are also times having sex does not cross your mind at all, but if you are having a continuous lack of desire for sex marked by a low libido (absence of konji), or having no sexual fantasies, you may likely have a desire disorder. More symptoms noticeable in those who have a desire disorder is that they feel distressed at the idea of having sex and they avoid genital contact with the opposite sex
2. Arousal disorders: Another form of sexual dysfunction in women is sexual arousal disorder which occurs when a woman is unable to become physically aroused during sexual activity. This can be caused by physical factors, such as poor blood flow to the genital area, or psychological factors, such as stress or body image issues. The symptoms includes struggling with getting arouse in the process of stimulating the genitals, and having just a little interest in sex and sexual fantasies. Reasons for this disorder has been attributed to health conditions or emotional issues like having a history of sexual abuse, failed relationship and a mental health condition.
3. Orgasmic disorders: Orgasmic disorder is another form of sexual dysfunction in women, characterized by difficulty achieving orgasm or a delay in orgasm. This can be caused by physical factors, such as hormonal imbalances, or psychological factors, such as performance anxiety or past sexual trauma. It is possible for a woman to get aroused by the foreplay, enjoy the sex itself but having a difficulty in achieving orgasm. In other words, it is the inability to ‘cum’ or experiencing a delay in ‘cuming’! Most women who experience this get so disappointed.
4. Pain disorders: Sexual pain disorder are psychological conditions that causes pain during an intercourse, such as dyspareunia and vaginismus, these are forms of sexual dysfunction in women. These disorders can have a variety of causes, including pelvic inflammatory disease, vulvodynia, or psychological conditions such as anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
– Dyspareunia: This is characterized by a constant and repetitive pain during intercourse.
– The second type is known as Vaginismus: This is characterized by involuntary contraction of the vaginal muscles, making penetration painful or impossible. It is the body’s reflex reaction to the fear of vaginal penetration. The vaginal muscles tighten up at the attempt of penetration which results in pain. Sexual pain disorders can have a variety of causes, including pelvic inflammatory disease, vulvodynia, or psychological conditions such as anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
– A low estrogen level in the wake of menopause may result to changes in the genital tissues and how the body responds to sexual activities. As the estrogen declines, the blood flow to the pelvic region declines also, at this stage you may experience just a slight genital sensation and also require an extra time to boost arousal and experience orgasm. Note that the body hormones level do not remain the same after child bearing and during lactation (breast feeding) leading to hormonal imbalances. This variation can cause vagina dryness and makes thrusting difficult and painful. In summary, you are prone to experiencing sexual dysfunction as you get into the menopausal age, getting pregnant or going through a surgery.
– Blood flow disorder: It is important to understand that the vagina, clitoris and the labia needs increase blood flow for sexual arousal, therefore if there are disorders in the blood vessels it may prevent blood flow to part of the female reproductive system.
– Gynecologic Conditions: Ovarian cyst, Uterine fibroid, endometriosis if left untreated can lead to vaginismus which causes pain in a woman during an intercourse. Vaginismus is a condition borne out of the fear of some or all types of penetration which makes the vagina muscle to contrast and making intercourse painful and unbearable.
– Health conditions like diabetes, heart diseases, arthritis, cancer, kidney failure, multiple sclerosis, bladder problems can lead to sexual dysfunction.
– Medications and Treatment: Some medications like antidepressant affect the sexual functions. Antidepressant are drugs used in treating major depressive and anxiety disorder or chronic pain condition. They reduces sex drive and the ability to have an orgasm. Chemotherapy, blood pressure treatment affects hormone levels and causes a great deal of problem in sexual functions by decreasing sexual desire and the ability to achieve orgasm.
Addiction to drugs substance, excess intake of alcohol can deprive you of having a healthy sexual adventure.
1. Depression and anxiety: This has been linked to low self esteem and feelings of despair which can cause lack of interest in sexual activities.
2. Stress: A feeling of physical or emotional tension. Makes it difficult to focus on enjoying sex with your partner. Studies have shown that stress can increase the level of hormone cortisol which may reduce a sex drive. Concerns over pregnancy and pressure from being a new mum will definitely have a toll on you and affect your sexual response, including unresolve conflict between partners about sex or other aspect
3. Sexual Abuse: Stress and trauma arising from a sexual abuse may cause a fear of having an intimate relationship. Victims of sexual abuse may feel haunted whenever the experience of abuse comes flashing through their mind. Venturing into sexual activity in these situations causes a lot of pains and makes it so hard to crave or respond to sex.
4. Relationships: Sex being an interactive, physical and psychological affair can get hassled due to pressure on relationships. Lack of trust and good communication, prevalent animosity can cause you to lose interest or feel bored when having sex.
Treatment for sexual dysfunction in women can include a combination of approaches, such as medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes. Medications such as hormone therapy and antidepressants may be used to address physical and psychological causes of sexual dysfunction. If you are experiencing sexual dysfunction, it’s best you consult a health professional or a therapist to get treated. Be sure you’re aware of the cause if its either physical or psychological before embarking on a treatment.
Your doctor is in best position to prescribe the approved medications to treat sexual dysfunction; do not indulge in self medication when treating sexual dysfunctions.
Therapy can also be an effective treatment option, especially for addressing psychological causes of sexual dysfunction. This can include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), sex therapy, and couples therapy. Your doctor may prescribe medications that contain female hormones to treat hormone deficiency or take you through the estrogen therapy, a confine theraphy which comes in the form of a vaginal ring, tablet or topical cream. This will help in improving the vaginal elasticity, increases the blood flow to the vaginal and enhaces lubrication.
Consider various way to build up desires and arousal with your partner. If possible, make a change in your sexual plans or schedule. You can watch videos for sexual stimulation or get a book that talks about arousal techniques.
You can try different sexual position and see the one that best suit you without pains. Change sex position if you are having pains during thrusting, you may choose to be on top of your partner to ease the pains. Vaginal lubricant should come handy during intercourse in case you experience dryness. Dont be in a hurry during foreplay, an extended foreplay can trigger your natural lubrication. While at it make sure you communicate with your partner what makes you feel good, your turn on/off. All you need do at this times is just to be in a relax mood and fantasize your sex rides.
Go for counseling with a therapist who specializes in sexual and relationship problems or a mental health doctor as this will assist to work on your psychological and emotional blockade for a pleasant experience. Counseling helps in educating you about how to enhance the body sexual response, getting more intimate with your partner and recommending materials or exercise to boost your sexual life.
Exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep, can also be beneficial for improving sexual function. Additionally, communication and intimacy building with the partner can help with the resolution of relationship issues if it is a cause.
Sexual dysfunction is a complex condition which requires a prompt action. Consult your doctor if you suspect you may be experiencing it. He/she can help determine the underlying cause of your symptoms and develop an effective treatment plan.
It is also good to bring up these concerns to your primary care physician first, as many times a primary care doctor or gynecologist can help you with the initial evaluation, or refer you to a sexual health therapist or specialist if it’s necessary.
1. Avoid drug abuse and excessive intake of alcohol.
2. Maintaining a healthy body
3. Exercise regularly – Kegel exercises increases blood flow to the vaginal and makes the pelvic muscles stronger, this is done by holding up the urine when in the loo for like 3 seconds, release again for another 3 seconds repeatedly until you are done urinating. This helps in tightening the pelvic floor muscle and also helps you to climax more easily.
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