There’s a condition that is relatively prevalent – estimated to affect 30% to 40% – among women. However, women with this condition are unlikely to discuss it with their healthcare providers and most healthcare providers are uncomfortable bringing it up. This condition has to do with the enjoyment or lack of in regards to sex.
Sex is a true gift meant not only for creating new life but also for the pure pleasure it can bring. In its purest, most natural form when everything falls into place, sex is great for both men and women. But more often than not, women suffer the most on enjoying this pleasurable experience.
Why one woman may dread sex can be entirely different from another woman who also views sex with disdain. This common and complicated issue involves factors of a physical nature to a psychological matter or both. When women get to the point of having little to no interest in sex, addressing this issue is vital as it can ruin the relationship with their partner.
What is the issue at hand when a woman has little to no interest in sexual relations? Most likely it is Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD). Women with FSD usually have persistent, recurrent problems with sexual response, desire, orgasm, or pain resulting in extreme distress while putting a strain on a woman’s relationship with her partner. The most common complaint is lack of desire. FSD tends to increase as women age but can affect women at any stage of life. Sexual dysfunction may be temporary or chronic (long-lasting).
FSD can fall into five types of problems and are the main reasons why some women want nothing to do with sex:
- Low libido – Doctors often refer to a lack of desire in sex as hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD). There can be numerous reasons for low libido in women that can include certain prescription medications such as antidepressants and anti-seizure medications, alcoholism, using street drugs, smoking, any surgery that may have affected her body image or sexual function, fatigue, stress, hormonal changes due to menopause, pregnancy, breastfeeding, poor body image and low self-esteem.
- Painful sex – This can include pain during sex due to menopausal vulvo-vaginal atrophy resulting from a lack of hormones as well as a burning pain syndrome of the genitals.
- Difficulty being aroused – Sexual arousal disorder can originate in the genital area (comparable to erectile dysfunction in men) or an issue at the brain level which is more common in women.
- Aversion to sex – This is often related to a history of sexual abuse.
- Inability to achieve orgasm – Up to 10-20 percent of women never achieve an orgasm and many others have difficulty.
Treating female sexual dysfunction
Even though most women with FSD will want to have some form of treatment, not all women necessarily will. If the problem is not bothering a woman, there may not be a need for any treatment.
Due to the fact, FSD has many possible symptoms and causes, the treatment plans will vary. Any woman experiencing any of the five problems needs to thoroughly discuss her specific symptoms and her body’s normal sexual response with her doctor or counselor. To successfully treat FSD, most women will benefit from a combined treatment approach addressing medical, relationship, and emotional issues.
Some of the methods used to treat FSD can include the following:
- Seeking counseling with a therapist who specializes in sexual and relationship problems.
- Using a vaginal lubricant for vaginal dryness causing pain during intercourse.
- Addressing any underlying medical condition or hormonal change. This might include a prescription medication of flibanserin or Addyi for premenopausal women with low sexual desire.
- Estrogen therapy can improve sexual function by improving vaginal tone and elasticity, increasing vaginal blood flow and enhancing lubrication.
- Although controversial, androgen therapy is another avenue since androgens include testosterone and testosterone plays a role in healthy sexual function in women.