Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD) describes an aversion, indifference or hostility to sexual activity, no response to sexual stimulation, an inability to achieve orgasm or painful intercourse. If any of these conditions are a source of distress to the woman then this qualifies as Sexual Dysfunction. If you’re satisfied with your sex life, you don’t have FSD. In the United States approximately 40 million women suffer from sexual disorders, that is 35%-40% of our female population. We know physical and psychological issues can impact sexual function such as pelvic/surgical trauma, menopause, smoking, hormonal changes, and medications are all contributing factors. Depression, stress, body image and relationship dynamics all must be considered as well.
Pain Disorders (Dyspareunia, Vaganismus)
Dysparuenia is also known as painful intercourse. Women with dyspareunia may have pain in the vagina, clitoris or labia. Dyspareunia is typically diagnosed based on your symptoms. Your medical and sexual history and your physical examination will help your doctor to determine the cause of your symptoms.
There are numerous causes of this disorder many of which are treatable. Common causes include the following:
- Vaginal dryness
- Atrophic vaginitis, a common condition causing thinning of the vaginal lining in postmenopausal women
- Side effects of drugs such as antihistamines and tamoxifen (Nolvadex and other brands)
- An allergic reaction to clothing, spermicides or douches
- Endometriosis, an often painful condition in which tissue from the uterine lining migrates and grows abnormally inside the pelvis
- Inflammation of the area surrounding the vaginal opening, called vulvar vestibulitis
- Skin diseases, such as lichen planus and lichen sclerosis, affecting the vaginal area
- Urinary tract infections, vaginal yeast infections, or sexually transmitted diseases
- Psychological trauma, often stemming from a history of sexual abuse or trauma
Vaginismus is severe tightening or spasms of the vaginal muscles during penetration. This can cause intercourse to be very painful.
To learn about the possible treatment options for sexual dysfunction, click on any of the tabs below