Female Sexual Dysfunction
Female sexual dysfunction includes problems of sexual desire, arousal or orgasm, and problems of sexual discomfort or anatomical problems.
Sexual dysfunction also encompasses decreased sensation and pain during intercourse. Sexual dysfunction can lead to feelings of stress, embarrassment or inadequacy, and can affect your relationship with your partner.
- Estrogen deprivation from perimenopause or menopause
- Anatomic problems related to size and/or comfort
- Psychological or emotional stress from fear of sex, or history of abuse causing an inability to relax and feel aroused. Specific problems include a lack of interest, arousal and/or orgasm.
- Vaginal injury due to trauma, abuse, childbirth injury
- History of abuse
- Vaginal delivery leading to an episiotomy or severe tearing
- Previous vaginal surgery
- Sporting events or other accidents
- Loose vagina after trauma or childbirth
- Psychological conditions
It is important to note that many factors can lead to sexual dysfunction, several of which are treatable. Certain medications, including antidepressants and blood pressure drugs, can inhibit the body’s sex drive and make it difficult to reach orgasm. Changing hormonal levels due to menopause may also impact a woman’s sensitivity to sexual touch and vaginal lubrication may become thinner or absent.
It will be important to discuss your sexual history with your doctor in order to determine the cause of your sexual dysfunction. A thorough sexual history includes reviewing medical, surgical, social, and psychiatric history. You will also have a pelvic exam to check for physical abnormalities that can lead to pain and discomfort. Dr Lind always encourages an open discussion about sex. It is not uncommon for sexual experience to be less than optimal for many patients. This does not mean there is an underlying disease, although some medical conditions can cause sexual problems. Treatment is focused on restoring healthy sexual relationships and intimacy with your partner. We will also take the time to educate you on ways to ease sexual difficulties, helping you return to a state that will help you enjoy intimacy.
To treat sexual dysfunction, our urogynecologists specialize in:
- Anatomic correction
- Hormone management for vaginal lubrication
- Estrogen replacement
- Orgasmic disorders
- Vaginal muscle spasms (vaginismus)
- Constricted vagina
- Post-childbirth episiotomy pain
- Pelvic floor disorders
- Compatibility issues with partners
Our team, which also includes dedicated nurse practitioners, physical therapists and physicians assistants, are all trained in sexual therapy. Each patient will have a detailed history and physical examination to identify the cause of the problem. When needed, laboratory testing is done to check for hormonal imbalance. Surgical correction of vulvar or vaginal abnormalities is available when necessary to help you experience sexual comfort but most women can be helped without surgery