What is Female Sexual Dysfunction?
Sexual dysfunction in women includes problems with desire, arousal, achieving orgasm, and sex pain disorders (e.g., dyspareunia and vaginismus).
Sexuality is a complex process, and is coordinated and can be affected by changes to the vascular, neurological and endocrine systems of your body.
Individual social factors – including interpersonal relationships with your partner, your religious beliefs, the beliefs of the society and family in which you are brought up, and negative or abusive encounters – can also contribute to your sexuality, as well as potential dysfunction.
What causes Sexual Dysfunction in Women?
Long-term illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis and cancer, minor illnesses such as cystitis, colds and flu; medications, hormone deficiencies, and 1psychosocial difficulties or abuse can contribute to the development of sexual dysfunction in women on a temporary or long term basis. Other potential causes include maladies of the female reproductive system such as cancers (including breast cancer), as well as treatments utilized to address these conditions, both medical and surgical.
In addition, fear of pregnancy can cause anxiety, which can lead to sexual dysfunction. Pain associated with sexual activity or inability to achieve sexual satisfaction can also lead to sexual dysfunction in women. Potential causes of sexual dysfunction not frequently considered by women include smoking, alcohol, or the use of illicit drugs.
How is Sexual Dysfunction evaluated?
Patients presenting with symptoms of sexual dysfunction will be evaluated by obtaining a complete, detailed medical history, as well as specific details related to the patient’s reported sexual concerns. A thorough physical examination will be performed to evaluate current physical status, and to eliminate or diagnose potential causes (e.g., hormone deficiency, infection, or other undiagnosed medical condition). The presence or absence of more than one concern must be determined, as considerable interdependence of these symptoms may exist.
Can Female Sexual Dysfunction be treated?
Female sexual dysfunction can be a treatable condition. Options available for treatment will vary, dependent on the cause, but all patients should be able to be helped. Following evaluation by your physician, a suspected cause may be treated. If no cause is found, basic treatment options will be discussed with you, and you will be given the choice as to whether or not you wish to proceed.