Many people, both men and women, deal with occasional sexual problems. Sometimes, sexual problems can become persistent and begin to affect your relationships and general well-being. This is what is known as sexual dysfunction.
The most common symptoms that women report with sexual dysfunction are:
- Low or absent sexual desire
- Difficulty/inability in becoming aroused or maintaining arousal
- Lack of orgasm
- Painful intercourse
The causes of sexual dysfunction can vary greatly, but most of the underlying issues are either physical or psychological problems:
- Physical causes may include: hormonal imbalances, aging, drug/alcohol abuse, chronic pain, diabetes, heart disease, previous pelvic surgeries, and side effects from medications like antidepressants
- Psychological causes may include: undiagnosed depression and/or anxiety, severe stress, relationship problems with your partner, past emotional or physical trauma
Sexual dysfunction can be frustrating. We're here to listen, inform, and help.
While sexual dysfunction can be frustrating and emotionally challenging, it is important to understand that there is help available. The first step in treating sexual dysfunction is finding the underlying cause. At Pacific Women’s Center, our physicians have years of experience helping women diagnose and treat these problems.
During a visit, your physician will usually start by reviewing your history, medications, and medical issues. We will also discuss your attitudes and feelings towards sex and lifestyle. Then, your physician may perform a pelvic exam and pap smear to check for physical problems that may be a contributing factor. Next, your physician will help you create a plan to treat the underlying causes and alleviate the sexual dysfunction.
Problems may be improved with treatments such as hormone replacement therapy, changing prescriptions, surgical intervention, or assistance from things like personal lubricants or visual stimulation. Psychological problems can be improved by undergoing therapy or relationship counseling.