Female Sexual Dysfunction – A temporary bolt from the blue

If a woman experiences problems with carrying out normal sexual intercourse, including lack of arousal, disinterest in sex or inability to get orgasm or sufficient satisfaction, it is medically termed as female sexual dysfunction. It may be an ongoing problem or happen only once in life.
This condition can occur at any age. Hormonal fluctuations after delivery or during menopause can cause this condition. Sometimes, it may co-occur with other illnesses like cancer, diabetes or cardiovascular diseases.

Types:-
There are more than one types of female sexual dysfunction.
1.Low sex drive: – It is characterized by less interest in sex or extinguished libido.

2.Problems in arousal: – Sexual arousal disorder may be experienced by some women. In this condition, sex drive is intact they experience problems getting “ready” for coitus.

3.Orgasmic Disorder: – Even a woman has desire for sex, and no problems with arousal, inability to get orgasm or satisfaction from sexual activity makes her become more avert to sex.

4.Pain during sexual intercourse:- Disorders like vaginismus may cause pain leading to feminine dysfunction.

Female sexual dysfunction may be triggered by a complex mix of several factors. Sexual response depends upon interaction of emotions, relationships, customs, lifestyle and physiology. If any of these components get disrupted, problems with sexual functioning may be experienced.

*Physical Components:-
1.Physical deformity
2.Arthritis
3.Pelvic surgery
4.Difficulty with urinary or bowel movements
5.Headaches
6.Fatigue
7.Multiple sclerosis

*Medications:-
1.Antihistamines
2.Antidepressants
3.Blood pressure medications
4.Chemotherapy drugs

*Hormonal Factors: –
Estrogen plays an important role in determining sexual responsiveness and health of genital tissues. When estrogen levels are reduced, especially after menopause, the folds of skin which cover genital area get shrunk, exposing the clitoris. As a result, the clitoris may lose its sensitivity.

If a woman is not sexually active, menopause cause thinning of vaginal lining and makes it less elastic. It causes vaginal pain during intercourse (dyspareunia) or inability to experience orgasm. Hormonal flux after breastfeeding or pregnancy can cause vaginal dryness. However, this dysfunction problem can be solved by using artificial lubricants.

*Psychological and social factors:-
1.Anxiety
2.Depression
3.Increased demands after delivery
4.Cultural and religious issues
5.Self consciousness with body image
6.Emotional distress

*Risk Factors:-
1.Psychological problems like depression or anxiety
2.Neurological conditions like multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury
3.Hepatic or renal failure
4.Antidepressants
5.High blood pressure medications
6.Marital stress
7.History of sexual abuse
8.Heart or blood vessel diseases

*Treatment Options:-
1.Psychotherapy and counseling
2.Estrogen therapy
3.Androgen therapy
4.Medications like Phosphodiesterase inhibitors or Tibolone
5.Devices like Vibrators
6.Healthy lifestyle changes

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