Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Female sexual dysfunction

What is female sexual
Inadequate sexual function in
women is a complex problem that
can have many different causes. It is
estimated that up to 40% of women
have suffered from sexual problems
in the last year. This might be caused
by physical illness, but is often linked
to psychological factors.
The female equivalent of impotence
is known as Female Sexual Arousal
Disorder (FSAD). When men and
women become sexually aroused,
their genitals become engorged with
blood. In women this normally
results in:
Enlargement of the clitoris and
surrounding tissues (comparable
to a male erection)
Secretion of vaginal lubrication
Relaxation and widening of the
vaginal opening to permit
FSAD patients have the desire to
have sex but their genital area fails
to respond in the normal way,
making sex painful or impossible.
Causes and risk factors
FSAD can result from an underlying
medical condition, such as high
blood pressure or diabetes. It can
also be caused by irritations,
infections and growths in the vaginal
area, or reactions to contraceptive
devices. Medications used to treat
high blood pressure, peptic ulcers,
depression or anxiety and cancer
may also cause problems.
Another factor is the physical,
hormonal and emotional changes
that occur during or after pregnancy
or while breast feeding, or, very
importantly, during and after the
menopause. FSAD is also often
linked to psychological causes. These
can include:
Inadequate or ineffective foreplay
Poor self-esteem
Sexual abuse or incest
Feelings of shame or guilt about
Fear of pregnancy
Stress and fatigue
The symptoms of sexual dysfunction
can include lack of sexual desire, an
inability to enjoy sex, insufficient
vaginal lubrication, or, even if
sexually aroused, a failure to achieve
an orgasm. Women who suffer from
Female Orgasmic Disorder (FOD) are
unable to achieve orgasm despite
being sufficiently aroused to have
Women differ from men in that
orgasm is a learned, not automatic,
response. About five to ten percent
of women never have an orgasm
through any type of sexual activity - a
condition called anorgasmia.
Anorgasmia is most often the result
of sexual inexperience, performance
anxiety, or past experiences, such as
sexual trauma or a strict upbringing,
that have led to an inhibition of
sexual response.
Some women are able to enjoy
sexual activity in spite of reaching
orgasm only some or even none of
the time. FOD is a problem only if it
has a negative effect on the
satisfaction of a woman or her
Treatment and prevention
On-going research has suggested
the anti-impotence drug for men,
‘Viagra’, may help to treat sexual
disorders in women by increasing
blood flow to the sexual organs and
thereby increasing physical
stimulation in the area. However, the
scientific community is still waiting
for firm evidence to be published
that the drug that the drug can work
on women. A small study published
recently found no positive impact on
postmenopausal women.
Testosterone has been looked at as
a treatment also but again, results
have not been as positive as
hoped.For the moment, doctors
concentrate, where possible, on
eliminating medications that might
have a negative effect on sexual
performance. They also review
contraceptive methods to ascertain
whether this is a factor.
Women who suffer from vaginal
dryness may also be recommended
to use lubricants during intercourse.
Some doctors recommend that
women use Kegel exercises, which
help to develop the muscles around
the outer portion of the vagina that
are involved in pleasurable
sensations. Psychological counselling
can also play an important part in
treating women with sexual
problems, as can coaching in sexual
foreplay and stimulation techniques.

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