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An Overview of Sexual Dysfunction in Women

written by: Kecia • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 1/16/2011

Sexual dysfunction in women is a common occurrence. It helps to be educated on the topic in order to understand and treat the problem.

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    What is Female Sexual Dysfunction?

    The issues that many females have in regards to the sexual response cycle are known as sexual dysfunction. This condition can affect a woman her entire life, or may occur at various time periods.

    There are many potential causes of sexual dysfunction in women, almost all of which can be treated. Though it is common for many females to experience a problem with sexual desire, excitement or orgasm, most do not feel comfortable speaking about the topic with their doctor or anyone else. However, it may be necessary to talk about the issue in order to correct it.

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    Signs of Sexual Dysfunction in Women

    It is common for sexual dysfunction to occur in women at any time of their lives. However, most experience the dissatisfaction with sex when their hormones are changing, such as during menopause, while pregnant or immediately following the birth of their baby. The most common symptoms of sexual dysfunction in women include:

    • Unable to be aroused
    • Impossible to achieve an orgasm
    • Pain during intercourse
    • Lack of sexual desire
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    Causes of Sexual Dysfunction in Women

    The causes of female sexual dysfunction can vary greatly. The reasons for this condition are typically categorized into three different types: physical, hormonal, and psychological.

    Physical Causes

    Many medical disorders and diseases can cause sexual dysfunction. These include heart disease, alcoholism, menopause, kidney disease, arthritis and diabetes. Also, feeling tired and having a headache or other common aches and pains can reduce a woman’s sexual desire. Some medications, such as antihistamines, blood pressure medications and antidepressants can also play a part in a female’s sexual drive.

    Hormonal Causes

    A great deal of sexual dysfunction cases in women are related to changes in hormones. When the level of estrogen in a female’s body is reduced, for example, there can be less ability to become aroused. There can also be a decrease in natural lubricants. Vaginal dryness can make sexual intercourse painful, furthering a woman’s lack of desire. Some hormone changes can also create a less sensitive vaginal area, meaning the normal arousal methods are no longer effective.

    Psychological Causes

    Anxiety and depression are two of the more common reasons for sexual dysfunction. Stress can also keep a woman from being aroused. Worry of becoming pregnant can leave any woman with a lack of sexual desire. Problems within a relationship can also leave a woman not wanting to have sex.

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    How to Treat Female Sexual Dysfunction

    The treatments used for sexual dysfunction in women will primarily depend on the cause of the issue. If the problem is physical, changes can be made to medications that will likely help increase the sexual response of the affected woman. Other physical causes can be eliminated with proper rest or natural remedies to alleviate the reason for the dysfunction. Hormonal causes can be cured with the help of supplements or medications. Anxiety and other psychological reasons can be treated with the assistance of a counselor and relaxation techniques.

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