Many people are hesitant and possibly ashamed to discuss this topic, but sexual dysfunction affects nearly half of all women. 43% of women will experience some form of sexual problem during their life while only 31% of men will experience difficulty. Yet there is still no FDA-approved intervention for women. This week we hope to delve into this common issue to increase awareness, decrease anxiety and stigma associated with the topic, as well as provide options for treatment and management.
The medical diagnosis for women who regularly experience sexual problems is termed "Female Sexual Dysfunction".
One Definition, Four Types
The four types of Female Sexual Dysfunction are:
- Loss of desire - Sexual Desire Disorder
- Inability to orgasm - Female Orgasmic Disorder
- Impaired arousal - Female Sexual Arousal Disorder
- Sexual pain - Sexual Pain Disorder
If one or more of these is causing you personal distress, then it is possible for you to be diagnosed with female sexual dysfunction.
For many women, discussing this topic or accepting that it is an issue of theirs is like addressing the elephant in the room. We want to assure you, however, that you are not alone in your symptoms and this is not a problem that you should have to suffer through. It is truly important and can affect quality of life, relationships, and overall sense of well being.
Sexual Desire Disorder
Prevalence: 13.6% (most 40-60 yrs)
Causes: Many, very complex: combination of biology, medication, psychology
Best Treatments: Holistic management, behavior adjustment, therapy, testerone, upcoming medications
Female Orgasmic Disorder
Prevalence: 3.4% - 5.9%
Causes: Primary - trauma, genetics, none. Secondary - desire disorder, medication, guilt
Best Treatments: Masturbation, lifestyle and behavior, improve self-esteem, anatomy education
Female Sexual Arousal Disorder
Causes: Medical condition or medication
Best Treatments: Treatment of conditions and medication adjustment
Sexual Pain Disorder
Prevalence: 5% - 22%
*Dyspareunia Vaginismus 1% - 6%
Causes: Vaginal dryness. Vaginismus - anticipating pain
Best Treatments: Vaginal estrogen, vaginal dilators, deep muscle relaxation techniques
This brief overview is a great start to understanding Female Sexual Dysfunction. Below we will discuss in greater detail the symptoms, causes, and treatments for all four types of sexual disorders. I will especially focus on female empowerment and holistic methods to improve all areas of Female Sexual Dysfunction.