Causes of Female Sexual Dysfunction

The Causes of Female Sexual Dysfunction are Almost Always Treatable

The loss of sexual desire (Libido), sexual anxiety, poor arousal, lack of orgasm, and intimacy problems may cause significant stress in your relationship. While Female Sexual Dysfunction has many causes and symptoms, they are almost all treatable. Dr. Mathews offers comprehensive diagnosis and treatment in a comfortable private setting.

You can develop female sexual dysfunction at any age, but sexual problems are most common when your hormones are in flux — for example, when you’ve just had a baby or when you’re making the transition into menopause. Sexual concerns may also occur with major illness, such as cancer.

You may be experiencing female sexual dysfunction if you experience one or more of the following and you’re distressed about it:

  • Your desire to have sex is low or absent.
  • You can’t maintain arousal during sexual activity, or you don’t become aroused despite a desire to have sex.
  • You cannot experience an orgasm.
  • You have pain during sexual contact.

Several factors may contribute to female sexual dysfunction or dissatisfaction and these factors tend to be interrelated.

Physical Factors. Physical conditions that may cause or contribute to sexual problems include arthritis, urinary or bowel difficulties, pelvic surgery, fatigue, headaches, other pain problems, and neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis. Certain medications, including some antidepressants, blood pressure medications, antihistamines and chemotherapy drugs, can decrease your sex drive and your body’s ability to achieve orgasm.

Hormonal Factors. Lower estrogen levels during the menopausal transition may lead to changes in your genital tissues and your sexual responsiveness. The folds of skin that cover your genital region (labia) become thinner, exposing more of the clitoris. This increased exposure sometimes reduces the sensitivity of the clitoris, or may cause an unpleasant tingling or prickling sensation. 
In addition, the vaginal lining becomes thinner and less elastic, particularly if you’re not sexually active. At the same time, the vagina requires more stimulation to relax and lubricate before intercourse. These factors can lead to painful intercourse (dyspareunia), and achieving orgasm may take longer. 
Your body’s hormone levels also shift after giving birth and during breast-feeding, which can lead to vaginal dryness and can affect your desire to have sex.

Psychological and Social Factors . Untreated anxiety or depression can cause or contribute to sexual dysfunction, as can long-term stress. The worries of pregnancy and demands of being a new mother may have similar effects. Longstanding conflicts with your partner — about sex or any other aspect of your relationship — can diminish your sexual responsiveness as well. Cultural and religious issues and problems with your own body image also may contribute. 
Emotional distress can be both a cause and a result of sexual dysfunction. Regardless of where the cycle began, you usually need to address relationship issues for treatment to be effective.

Female Sexual Dysfunction is a common condition affecting 4 out of 10 women in the US.

You might be reluctant to discuss your sexual concerns, but your sexuality is integral to your well-being. The more forthcoming you can be about your sexual history and current problems, the better your chances of finding an effective approach to treating them.

A comprehensive history and physical along with laboratory studies will be performed at your visit. In addition, you will be asked to complete a questionnaire, Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), prior to your visit. This form may be filled out online, or printed, filled out and brought with you to your visit.

Click here to be taken to the FSFI form.

Female Anatomy

Female-Genitalia Anus: Opening at the end of the alimentary canal through which solid waste is eliminated.

Clitoris: Female sexual organ found where the Labia Minora meet.

Labia Majora & Minora: Skin folds that encircle the vaginal entrance.

Mons Pubis: Fatty tissue on the front side of the pelvic region.

Perineum: The area between the vaginal entrance and the anus.

Urethral Orifice: Open of the tube from the bladder to the outside.


Treatment for Female Sexual Dysfunction

Effectively treating sexual dysfunction often requires addressing underlying psychological conditions, medical conditions and hormonal change that affecting your sexuality. A multidisciplinary approach is used to achieve effective treatment options.