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Female Sexual Arousal Disorder

Female Sexual Arousal Disorder

Persistent, problems with sexual response or desire that distress you or put a strain your relationship with your partner are known medically as female sexual dysfunction.

About

You may experience more than one type of female sexual dysfunction. Types include:

  • Low sexual desire. You have diminished libido, or lack of sex drive.
  • Sexual arousal disorder. Your desire for sex may be intact, but you have difficulty or are unable to become aroused or keep arousal during sexual activity.
  • Orgasmic disorder. You have constant or recurrent difficulty in achieving orgasm after sufficient sexual arousal and ongoing stimulation.
  • Sexual pain disorder. You have pain associated with sexual stimulation or vaginal contact.

Symptoms

Female sexual dysfunction can occur at any age. Sexual problems often arise when your hormones fluxgates for example, having a baby or going through menopause. Sexual concerns may also occur with major illness, such as cancer, diabetes, or heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease. Your problems might be classified as female sexual dysfunction if you experience one or more of the following and you're distressed about it:
  • Your desire to have sex is low or absent.
  • You can't maintain arousal during sexual activity, or you don't become aroused despite a desire to have sex.
  • You can't experience an orgasm.
  • You have pain during sexual contact.

Causes

Various factors can play a role in sexual dissatisfaction or dysfunction. These factors tend to be interrelated.

  • Physical.  Physical conditions that may lead to sexual problems include: arthritis, urinary or bowel difficulties, pelvic surgery, fatigue, headaches, other pain problems, and neurological disorder. Medications, including some antidepressants, blood pressure medications, antihistamines and chemotherapy drugs, can decline your sex drive and your body's ability to experience orgasm.
  • Hormonal. Lower estrogen levels after have gone through menopause may have changed your genital tissues and sexual responsiveness. The folds of skin that cover your genital area (labia) become thinner, exposing more of the clitoris. This increased exposure sometimes reduces the sensitivity of the clitoris.The vaginal lining usually becomes thinner and less elastic, especially if you're not sexually active, causing a need for more stimulation to relax and lubricate before intercourse. These factors can lead to painful intercourse (dyspareunia), and it may take longer to experience orgasm. Your body's hormone levels also shift after giving birth and while breast-feeding, which can cause vaginal dryness and can affect your desire to have sex.
  • Psychological and social. Untreated anxiety or depression can contribute to sexual dysfunction. The worries of pregnancy and demands of being a new mother may have similar effects. Cultural and religious issues and problems with body image also may contribute.

Treatment

Women with sexual concerns most often benefit from a combined treatment approach that addresses medical as well as relationship and emotional issues. Nonmedical treatment A doctor may start you off with nonmedical practices to try and regain sexual pleasure. These methods include;

  • Talk and listen.
  • Practice healthy lifestyle habits
  • Seek counseling
  • Use a lubricant
  • Try a device
Medical treatments Medications are used when trying nonmedical methods have failed. Types of medical treatments include;
  • Estrogen therapy
  • Androgen therapy
The risks of hormone therapy varies, depending on whether estrogen is given alone or with a progestin, your age, the dose and type of hormone, and health related issues; such as your risks of heart and blood vessel disease and cancer. Talk with your doctor about benefits and risks.