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Female Sexual Dysfunction

It is common to hear about male sexual arousal issues on television, in magazine advertisements and depending on your age, in casual conversation with your close friends and loved ones. But female sexual dysfunction is another common issue that individuals and couples may experience as well. This may include problems with arousal, desire, orgasm and resolution. In fact, research suggests that around 43 percent of women will experience some degree of sexual dysfunction in their lifetime.

While male sexual dysfunction issues may be more acceptable to discuss, it is important for women to talk to their partners and their doctors if they feel like something could be wrong in the bedroom. Keep reading to learn more about female sexual dysfunction and the treatment options available at the Henry Ford Women’s Sexual Health Clinic.

What is Female Sexual Dysfunction?

Generally, female sexual dysfunction is characterized by persistent and reoccurring problems with sexual desire, sexual response, orgasm or pain during sex. These issues can occur at any point in life and can be something that women notice only in certain sexual situations or all of their sexual interactions.

Common Symptoms of Female Sexual Dysfunction

The symptoms of sexual dysfunction can vary greatly depending on the type of issues a woman is experiencing. However, some of the most common symptoms associated with sexual dysfunction in women include:

  • Low Libido or Sexual Desire — This is the most common female sexual dysfunction. Women with this problem may experience a lack of sexual interest or willingness to be sexual.
  • Sexual Pain Disorder — Women often experience pain associated with vaginal contact or sexual stimulation.
  • Sexual Arousal Disorder — While women may experience a desire for sexual contact, they can have problems with arousal or maintaining arousal during sexual encounters.
  • Orgasmic Disorder — Women with this common sexual dysfunction issue may experience reoccurring or persistent difficulties achieving orgasm, even after ongoing stimulation.

What Causes Sexual Dysfunction in Women?

There are a number of different factors that can relate to sexual dysfunction. Most often women experience these issues when their hormones are in flux. So, if you’ve recently had a baby or are in the early stages of menopause, sexual dysfunction is completely normal. Other common causes of female sexual dysfunction include major illnesses like cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Other factors that may increase your risk of experiencing sexual dysfunction include:

  • Certain medications (high blood pressure medication or antidepressants)
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Psychological and emotional stress
  • Neurological conditions like multiple sclerosis
  • Gynecological conditions (infections, lichen sclerosus, vulvovaginal atrophy)
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