The fact is that many of us will experience some kind of sexual dysfunction during our lifetimes – some experts say it’s as much as 40% of us. But, the exact number who suffer is difficult to determine –because experts have different ways of looking at things and women can be hesitant to discuss sexual problems openly – or to seek help from a professional. Even now, many of us are ashamed or embarrassed to discuss anything that has anything to do with sex.
Sexual dysfunction comes in different forms and ranges of severity – and longevity. However, there are some life events – like childbirth and menopause – that put us more at risk. Not that everyone suffers during these times, but at the very least, women experience significant hormonal changes related to pregnancy, perimenopause and menopause. Hormonal changes can be major triggers of sexual dysfunction.
But here’s the thing. There’s treatment out there for virtually anything that goes wrong. There are doctors and other health professionals dedicated to helping women conquer their issues with sexual dysfunction.
What Can Go Wrong?
There are three categories of female sexual dysfunction. They’re listed here with a short description and each is followed by a link you can click for more information.
Sexual Interest/Arousal Disorder
The list is long when it comes to the reasons for a low sex drive. Fatigue, boredom, relationship discord, too much stress, not enough sleep, medical issues, body image issues, hormone imbalance … to name a few.
There’s a lot to know about symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of sexual interest/arousal disorder. Healthline published a great article written by Kimberly Holland (May 8, 2019) and medically reviewed by Janet Brito, Ph.D., LCSW, CST. I encourage you to read the article, if you’re struggling with lack of interest in sex or difficulty with arousal.
Here, again, there can be many reasons underlying this issue. The medical word for it is Anorgasmia and the Mayo Clinic has an excellent article on the subject, if you want to read more. I strongly suggest doing so, if you’re having problems with orgasm. There’s help!
Sexual Pain Disorder
#1: Pain during sex is not normal.
#2: Pain during sex is not your fault.
Sexual pain can occur during foreplay and intercourse. It can be caused by infections, yeast, STDs, allergies, drug reactions, nerve damage and chronic disorders like vaginismus. Some experts say it affects as many as 20% of women.
According to Psychology Today, “many women complaining of pain during sex are dismissed as being inhibited, having psychiatric problems, or merely exaggerating the problem when, in fact, their symptoms are related to legitimate medical issues”.
Please consider reading the entire article by Psychology Today, if you are experiencing pain during foreplay or sex. There are effective treatments out there.
Should I Call My Doctor?
Yes. Contact your doctor if you have issues around sex that are concerning you and/or affecting your relationship.
Let’s talk about it! Tell us how you’re feeling, ask questions and share your experiences. You can comment directly to this blog post or join our private FaceBook group, Actively Intimate and comment there (ladies only).
Let’s keep talking until certain things become common knowledge – like you don’t have to live with sexual pain and you can definitely get your groove back when it comes to enjoying sex.