Female Sexual Issues - Which Sexual Problems Come with Gender

Women these days are quite aware of their sexuality and they are increasingly seeking solutions to their sexual problems, howsoever minor they may seem. Anything that interferes in a woman's satisfaction with her sexual activities can be considered a sexual problem and health professionals often use the term female sexual dysfunction (FSD) to diagnose sexual issues in women.

Sexual Response Cycle

A woman basically goes through four sexual response cycles. The four stages are desire, arousal, orgasm and resolution. Desire is the stage when you feel like you are in the mood for sex. This leads to arousal, which occurs with the help of sexual stimulation and brings about physical changes in the body, making you ready for sex. At the peak of arousal, occurs the climax, which is then followed by the stage of resolution. At this stage, you will be relaxed, content and sleepy.

Sexual disorders can occur if any of the four stages does not occur in a woman. Depending on the stage that they occur, these problems can be related to desire, arousal, orgasm or sexual pain.  Let's have a look at these different kinds of problems that a woman may face during the course of her life.

Sexual Desire Problems in Women

When a woman does not want to have sex, she may be suffering from a low sex drive. In this case, she does not want to engage in any sexual activity, including masturbation. Her sexual thoughts or fantasies are almost nil. She is also concerned about her lack of sexual desire. Basically, the sexual response cycle stops, in this case, before it even begins.

Women with this problem are often diagnosed with female hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD). The desire to have sex may be turned off in such women due to various reasons including low levels of the sex hormone, testosterone, sexually traumatic events, antidepressants and antihypertensive drugs, or chronic stress.

Arousal Problems in Women

At the arousal stage, the blood pressure, temperature, heart rate and breathing of the woman goes up and there is an increase in the blood flow to her sex organs. Her vagina will also become wetter and expand at this stage.

Inadequate arousal or lack of arousal means that the sex organs do not become more sensitive and the vaginal area does not get lubricated. This means that the woman will not be able to reach orgasm and will end up dissatisfied with sex. She will also have vaginal dryness, making sex painful for her.

Many women do not feel any mental or physical excitement with the prospect of having sex. Stress, anxiety, lack of emotional closeness with the partner, a negative sexual experience in the past are only some of the reasons that may cause a lack of mental and physical arousal in women.

Some women may feel mentally aroused but their body may not respond as they would like it to. In such cases, often the problem is physiological in nature. Medications, alcohol or drug abuse, medical conditions, or hormonal changes may be the reason behind this lack of physical response. In such cases arousal gels and creams can effectively help alleviate the problem.

Orgasmic Problems in Women

If desire and arousal are not there, the chances of reaching an orgasm are almost nil in a woman. Orgasm is the peak or sexual arousal and if the woman's body does not respond in the right way, she will not reach climax. However, for many women, orgasm is not important. Just sharing the love and closeness with her partner is enough.

But there are some women, who want to reach orgasm but fail to do so. Some may have never experienced a climax or some may take a much longer time than normal to achieve it.

In some women, although the arousal response is healthy, the orgasm may still not occur. This condition is usually referred to as anorgasmia and its primary symptom is that the woman is not able to reach orgasm although she is sexually stimulated. The situation also causes much personal distress and unhappiness to her.

Poor body image, fear of losing control on reaching orgasm, or lack of trust in her partner may be some of the reasons why a woman who achieves arousal is not able to reach climax.

Sexual Pain Disorders in Women

Woman can experience intense pain during partial or complete entry into the vagina, during thrusting or during urination after sex. If the pain occurs during intercourse, the condition is called dyspareunia. If it occurs during activities other than intercourse, it is called non-coital sexual pain disorder.

A woman should consult a doctor if the pain is intense or occurs persistently during sexual activities. Pain during entry may occur due to insufficient vaginal lubrication, injury or irritation due to an accident or surgery, infection or inflammation in the genital area or urinary tract. Vaginismus is a condition in which there are involuntary spasms of the muscles of the vaginal wall. This can also make penetration painful for the woman.

Besides these, a history of sexual abuse, stress, illnesses such as endometriosis and ovarian cysts may also cause pain during sex.

Tips to Improve Sexual Health

Learning about your body and how it works, communicating with your partner about unresolved conflicts and your sexual problems, and working at living a more relaxed and stress-free life can help increase your sexual desire and arousal and your ability to reach an orgasm.

Similarly, alcohol and drug abuse have a negative impact on the sexual response of women. Avoiding these and eating a healthy and balanced diet can help in improving your response at the different stages.

If you are still concerned about your sexual responses, it's time to consult a healthcare provider who may diagnose any underlying medical condition and prescribe appropriate medications for you.

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