Female Sexual Dysfunction

Female Orgasm The disorder commonly known as female sexual dysfunction is in fact a series of interrelated disorders. Sometimes female sexual dysfunction requires psychological therapy, sometimes medical treatment and occasionally both.

In this article we will outline the different types of female sexual dysfunction, including the symptoms of each, and discuss treatment options.

What is female sexual dysfunction?

The latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV) lists female sexual dysfunction because it tends to disrupt personal relationships and create psychological distress. All the disorders grouped together under the term female sexual dysfunction disrupt the arousal process and the sexual response cycle.

Although some professionals disagree with the primarily psychological classification, this is the standard model used to treat female sexual dysfunction in the United States and abroad.

These disorders are grouped together under the female sexual dysfunction classification:

  • Hypoactive sexual disorder: absence of libido. There's no interest in sex, little if any interest in sexual stimulation.
  • Female sexual arousal disorder: the inability to complete or progress through the typical stages of arousal and the sexual response cycle.
  • Sexual aversion disorder: aversion to or complete dismissal of sex. Sometimes, sexual aversion disorder is acquired after sexual abuse or trauma. This disorder can be life-long.
  • Female orgasmic disorder: delay or complete absence of orgasm after progressing normally through the sexual response cycle.
  • Dyspareunia: pain in the vagina or genitalia before, during or after sexual intercourse.
  • Vaginismus: an involuntary tightening or contraction of the muscles around the vagina. This occurs as a response to penetration attempts. These contractions make penetration difficult or impossible and, if forced, damaging to the female anatomy.

Medical causes of female sexual dysfunction

Female sexual disorder can be a side effect of some organic health issue. Inadequate blood flow to the genitals, loss of sensitivity due to nerve damage, or reduced hormone levels may all be responsible for female sexual disorder.

Additionally, sexual problems may be symptoms of a larger disease that needs treatment, such as diabetes, endocrine disorders and even neurological disorders.

How is female sexual dysfunction treated?

Doctors treat female sexual dysfunction differently depending on whether the source of the problem seems to be psychological or organic.

For psychologically-related female sexual dysfunction, treatment focuses on educating the woman or couple about female anatomy, female arousal and the sexual response cycle. Treatment may include therapy involving the couple, education about the importance of foreplay and communication about sex.

For organic disorders, hormone replacement therapy may be in order. This therapy attempts to restore hormone levels that may be out of balance due to age, surgery, or any number of conditions.

Additionally, vascular therapy aimed at increasing blood flow to the female genitalia may be prescribed. Some doctors are attempting to treat reduced blood flow using Sildenafil (aka Viagra) which works so well in men.

Creams containing Korean Ginseng are another prescribed vascular therapy. Korean Ginseng is involved in nitric oxide synthesis, which aids in vascular and involuntary muscle relaxation. Creams containing Korean Ginseng seem to dilate the blood vessels in the clitoris and enhance the sensations felt during sex. These creams are available without a prescription (we recommend V Cream).

If you think you or your partner may be experiencing female sexual dysfunction, make an appointment with your doctor. Female sexual dysfunction may be a sign of a larger underlying issue.