Female Sexual Dysfunction - Overview

What is Female Sexual Dysfunction?

Any problem that keeps a woman from experiencing sexual pleasure can be included in the umbrella term 'female sexual dysfunction'. Thus, female sexual dysfunction includes any of the complaints ranging from lack of sexual desire to absence of orgasm and anything in between. It is not uncommon for women to experience painful sexual intercourse (dyspareunia) but this again is one of the problems that go unreported.


Women who suffer from persistent or recurrent problems associated with normal sexual function can experience significant mental distress and they are termed to be suffering from "female sexual dysfunction". Female sexual disorders are not only a source of stress for women but also a major cause for marital discord and strained relationships between partners.
The problems that keep a woman from enjoying sex can occur at any level of a normal sexual response and can present as one or more of the following:

Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) / Inhibited Sexual Desire (ISD): The woman does not have adequate or any desire for a sexual activity in this case.

Inability to become aroused / Female Sexual Arousal Disorder (FSAD): In this case, there may be a desire for sexual activity but the woman cannot be aroused sufficiently.

Difficulty with orgasm / Female Orgasmic Disorder (FOD): One of the commonest of female sexual disorders, the woman does not reach orgasm / climax during sexual intercourse in this case.

Painful intercourse / Dyspareunia : A large number of women experience pain during sexual intercourse at some point of their lives making this a highly common disorder.


Some major reasons for Female Sexual Dysfunction:

Inability to become aroused

Women suffering from Female Sexual Arousal Disorder repetitively face difficulty in getting aroused or maintaining the arousal sufficiently for sexual intercourse to occur. Inability to become aroused does not mean that the woman has no desire for sex – it simply means that even though the desire is present, the necessary physiological changes in the body (such as vaginal lubrication, increased blood flow to the labia, clitoris and vagina) do not occur.

Almost 20% of all women suffer from a difficulty in getting aroused. Due to this reason, the intercourse is often unsatisfactory or even painful. In the long run, lack of arousal can lead to avoidance of sexual intimacy and thus result in tension and discord.

Various reasons can lead to lack of sexual arousal in women:

  • > Physical causes such as damage to the blood vessels or nerves in the pelvic region; general medical conditions like coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus; hormonal problems like thyroid disorders, menopause, etc.

  • > Psychological factors like emotional stress, depression, past sexual abuse, problems with the partner, poor self-image.

  • > Due to certain medications such as anti-depressive medication, antipsychotic drugs, contraceptive drugs, sedatives, etc.


    Difficulty with Orgasm

    Women suffering from female orgasmic disorder do get aroused and experience sufficient lubrication; however, they face difficulty in reaching climax and may not get an orgasm at all. This can get very frustrating for the patient and may lead to problems in the relationship. It is well worth mentioning here that in contrast to men, women can have multiple orgasms in a short period and these may vary in intensity and duration from case to case as well in the same woman from one time to another.

    Female Orgasmic Disorder is classified as:

    Primary: In this case, the woman has never had an orgasm - neither by self-stimulation (masturbation), nor by direct stimulation of the clitoris, nor through vaginal intercourse.

    Secondary: Here the woman has had orgasms in the past but has lost the ability due to any of the causes mentioned below:

  • > Physical causes include a cultural practice involving removal of the clitoris (female genital mutilation); general medical conditions like coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus; damage to blood vessels, nerves in the pelvic region, etc.

  • > Common psychological causes of difficulty in getting an orgasm are past sexual abuse, guilt about sex, relationship problems, major depression, stress, anxiety, fear of pregnancy, etc.

  • > Medications like antipsychotics, narcotics, antidepressants, etc.


    Lack of Sexual Desire

    In this case, the woman’s desire for sexual activity / libido is abnormally low or absent altogether. Women who suffer from inhibited sexual desire may even have a deficiency or a complete absence of sexual fantasies and erotic thoughts.

    Some of the common causes of lack of sexual desire in women are:

  • > Physical causes such as fatigue, insomnia, poor general health, hormonal problems like thyroid disorders, anemia, etc.

  • > Psychological causes like depression, anxiety disorders, lack of communication, lack of affection, past traumatic sexual experiences, strict upbringing, negative attitudes toward sex.

  • > Drugs and medications such as contraceptive pills, antidepressants (especially Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors), tranquilizers, etc.

  • > Lack of sexual desire is often associated with low testosterone levels.

  • > It sometimes happens that the woman has had painful intercourse recurrently in the past leading to a loss of interest in sex (since the act gets associated with 'pain' in the mind).


    Painful Intercourse/ Dyspareunia

    Dyspareunia or painful intercourse is described as persistent or recurrent pain associated with sexual contact. The pain may occur before, during or after intercourse and can lead to significant distress. An estimated 60% of all women suffer from painful intercourse at various times. This is one of those conditions whose incidence decreases as the woman gets older and more experienced.

    Common causes of dyspareunia (painful intercourse) include:

    Infection: Vaginal infections like yeast infection, trichomoniasis, genital herpes are the commonest culprits.

    Vaginal irritation: Use of contraceptive foams, creams, jellies, condoms, diaphragms, etc, tend to irritate the sensitive vaginal mucosa leading to pain.

    Dryness of vagina: If penetration is attempted before sufficient lubrication occurs, the friction may lead to pain. Vaginal dryness can also be caused due to anxiety, menopause, etc.

    Vaginismus: The woman experiences strong involuntary spasms of the vaginal muscles during sexual intercourse. It is a reflex state that occurs due to anxiety in most cases. Occasionally, the woman may be suffering from a less severe state of vaginal tightness that occurs at certain times only.

    Chronic Pelvic Pain: Diseases like ovarian cysts, uterine fibroid / tumors, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory diseases can lead to pain when there is deep, thrusting penetration. Even at other times, there can be a constant nagging pain that is felt in the pelvic region.

    Vulvodynia: A chronic condition that presents as unexplained sharp or burning pain in vagina and vulva.

    Pain in the clitoris: The clitoris being one of the most sensitive areas, is prone to develop pain.

    Psychological causes: Anxiety due to painful intercourse in the past, sexual abuse in the past, depression, stress, guilt, lack of attraction for partner, fear of pregnancy, etc.


    Homeopathic Treatment

    Healing safely, gently and surely!

    Homeopathy has helped multitudes of women to overcome their suffering and lead a normal sexual life once again. Plagued by worries of worsening marital discord, many women have sought treatment at Dr. Sameer's Clinic for their sexual dysfunction and they have been happy about making the right choice of treatment. With our expertise and experience in treating patients for many years at Dr. Sameer's Clinic, we can positively assure our patients of good results in most cases.

    The first thing that must be borne in mind is that female sexual dysfunction is treatable and with combined efforts of a sex therapist and homeopathy, most women can help themselves significantly. Homeopathy, being a mind-and-body medicine, treats the patients at the level of the body as well as the mind, which is primarily essential for sexual dysfunction cases.

    Lack of libido and inability to become aroused show good response to treatment with homeopathy especially since the cause is psychological in most cases. Another area where homeopathy can be of great help is dyspareunia or painful intercourse. A large number of cases of dyspareunia show positive response after homeopathic treatment and adequate counseling of the patient. Primary female orgasmic disorder is one area that takes time to respond to treatment and the results may not always be positive. However, secondary orgasmic disorders can be tackled effectively in most cases if the cause is adequately taken care of.

    One of the common roadblocks to a good response to treatment is persistent anxiety about the results. Often women who seek consultation have reached a tough point in their personal lives and relationships due to their problem and have lost patience to stick to the treatment. If the partner can also be counseled along with the patient at such times, it goes a long way in attaining positive response to treatment. It is in the best interest of the patients that they opt for treatment as soon as possible - this can give optimum results and prevent any further progress of the condition.