Many forms of female sexual dysfunction are common – but there are ways to address the condition
Is there really something wrong if you just don’t want to have sex? In some cases, yes. Persistent, low sexual desire is the most common form of female sexual dysfunction, and there are a few interventions that can help.
Many women are hesitant to talk about sexuality with their spouse or partner, and some don’t open up to healthcare professionals, either. You might find it a difficult subject to discuss but you shouldn’t suffer in silence. The first step in addressing sexual dysfunction is education, which should include consulting a physician.
You may be experiencing a change in libido if:
You’re depressed or dealing with stress
The external world can have a huge impact on the desire to have sex as well as sexual performance – and that goes for both men and women. Stress caused by your job, finances, or other life events can lower libido by preventing you from focusing on intimacy.
Likewise, depression isn’t just an emotional issue. It is a physical response that can impact many aspects of your life, including your libido. Often, both depression and stress are temporary states. Any sexual dysfunction passes when the stress is gone or the depression alleviates. Seek out professional help, however, if you find yourself depressed or under stress for an extended period of time.
You’re taking antidepressants
It’s a bit of a catch-22. Depression often lowers the desire to have sex and so can the most common medications prescribed to treat the condition. Known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) these drugs increase the availability of serotonin – which causes feelings of well-being – in the brain.
While these medications can be effective in relieving depression, the tradeoff might be sexual dysfunction. It can be dangerous to abruptly stop taking an SSRI, so don’t go that route if you believe the drug may be affecting your libido. Talk to your healthcare professional. They may choose to prescribe a non-SSRI antidepressant, lower the dose, or wait and see whether the side effects abate.
You’re taking the pill
Oral contraceptives containing estrogen and/or progestin can cause sexual dysfunction in women. These types of birth control decrease the amount of testosterone in the body. Testosterone may be a hormone commonly associated with men, but women have it as well and it’s connected to sex drive.
If you have a concern that your current birth control regimen is impacting your libido, have a discussion with your OB/GYN about other options. They may suggest an IUD, condoms, or even a contraceptive that uses lower levels of hormones.
Changes in the menstrual cycle can also have an impact on libido. Sex drive may temporarily decrease soon after ovulation because of increased levels of progesterone; there are studies which indicate that higher levels of this hormone decrease sex drive. This is typically a temporary, cyclical effect, however, which often doesn’t require intervention.
Your body is changing because of age
Our bodies respond to sexual stimulation differently as we get older. Menopause drastically lowers the production of key hormones. Medications for age-related conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease can restrict blood flow and may change your libido. And the build-up of plaque in blood vessels may reduce blood flow to the genitals. Some age-related physical changes can also make sexual intercourse painful.
New options to address sexual dysfunction
Both women and men can experience sexual dysfunction because of circulatory problems. This can now be addressed – without medication – through a noninvasive procedure performed during a regular office visit.
FemiWave™ is a revolutionary procedure that uses soundwaves to treat sexual dysfunction in women –helping restore sensation and natural lubrication. It accomplishes this by breaking up plaque that blocks blood vessels while stimulating their cell signaling, thereby increasing blood flow to the vagina.