Female sexual dysfunction is the umbrella category used to describe an array of sexual disorders that affect women. Walking through life with low libido or an aversion to sex leads women with female sexual dysfunction (FSD) to avoid sex with their partners. So does other symptoms of FSD, like experiencing painful sex and being unable to climax during sexual intercourse or intimate relations. Some insist that female sexual dysfunction is nothing more than in the mind and is simply a result of women leading more stressful lives. There is too much pressure to balance multiple roles in the family. We couldn’t disagree more. FSD might be exacerbated by these stresses but exists as a medical condition that can be brought on by any number of physical or psychological problems, and it is definitely one that can be treated.
Whether FSD is caused by physical or psychological issues, it can leave a woman feeling less than adequate and the impact of the relationship with their partner can be affected irreversibly. Both partners are left feeling like they are doing something wrong in the relationship but it’s important to remember that while a relationship might not be perfect, FSD is a medical condition. Even though we are socially programmed to feel that way, not wanting sex may actually have nothing to do with your love for your partner at all. Sometimes a combination of physical and psychological problems is to blame. Regardless, there is always a chance to do something about it. You just need to know where to look.
Are you one of these women? Do you suspect that your wife or partner is experiencing FSD? If you do, then the first step is to confront them about the situation. Thanks to the growing testosterone therapy industry and an increasingly more open culture, the subject is no longer taboo – the sooner everyone realizes this is the better. The simple fact is, nothing can change if you don’t talk openly about it.
This article on talking to your partner about sex can help you navigate bringing up the tetchy subject with your partner.
Like we said above, female sexual dysfunction (FSD) is the umbrella category used by doctors when a woman experiences sexual troubles.
When you visit the doctor they consider your problems to be sexual dysfunction if you experience one of these 5 symptom categories:
Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (known simply as low sexual desire or low libido)
Painful sex (this can be a burning sensation or it can be down to vaginal atrophy, it can happen at any point in time but is especially common during menopause)
Sexual Arousal Disorder (this is the equivalent of erectile dysfunction for women. In short, the inability to become sufficiently aroused)
Inability to orgasm (it’s thought that up to 20% of women have never achieved a real orgasm)
No-one is saying that as you get older sex has to be just as great and as frequent as when you were young and care-free. As we get older the pressures of work and raising a family often get in the way of our sexual desires. The problem only becomes medical when this is a constant and continual problem.
There are many types of treatments available for female sexual dysfunction. Finding the right treatment is not always easy – the physical and psychological complexity of why it happens and to who it happens varies with each individual.
Before you start medicating you need to get to the bottom of what the problems are and why they are happening. It’s especially important to rule out that the sexual dysfunction are not being caused by an underlying disease like Diabetes or other chronic organ diseases. Prescription medication relating to other illnesses, birth control, alcoholism and rugs can also impact on sexual desire and sexual function.
Picking the right treatment can take weeks of trial and error. Someone with sexual arousal disorder that originates from the genital region (as erectile dysfunction does in men) will need a different treatment from someone who’s Sexual Arousal Disorder originates from the brain. That’s one of the main reasons why the FDA are always reluctant to approve sexual dysfunction treatments for women. In women the problem is far more complex than in men. However, there’s an increasing school of thought surrounding hormones and sexual desire and it’s causing a big rise in women using hormone therapy to treat their symptoms and improve their sex life.
Testosterone therapy can help with a number of female sexual dysfunction problems including low libido and arousal disorders. The effect of using a testosterone therapy doesn’t just raise testosterone levels and increase sexual desire and performance. It also affects levels of anxiety and mood swings. A reduction in these tensions can by default help raise sexual desire. Many men feel more aroused when they are faced with stress and adrenaline, for women though it’s almost the opposite. Women have the opportunity to use various kinds of testosterone products. Some are adjusted from male doses, some are made up in compounding factories according to a doctor’s prescription. There’s only one testosterone product available that is especially formulated for women and that is AndroFeme topical testosterone cream. Getting the dose right is very important though as too much testosterone can lead to side effects that are hard to get rid of. Make sure you test your testosterone levels before starting any treatment and then monitor them monthly to make sure the T levels are not rising too high.
Other treatments for female sexual dysfunction include:
Vaginal estrogen and lubricants – these help women whose main problem originates from painful sex and vaginal atrophy, some lubricants help to moisten the vagina so sex is less painful but other Estrogen based ones help change the hormonal balance too. Other alternative to Vaginal Estrogen include Vaginal DHEA 1% suppositories and oral therapy called Osphena.
There are electric devices that can help condition your body to respond to sexual arousal and strengthen vaginal muscles so that they respond better to stimulus. One such device is called the Eros device. It works internally to increase blood flow, sensation and lubrication, resulting in less painful sex and higher levels of libido (once your body remembers what it is missing it is encouraged to want more :)) Intone is another device that many women find useful, especially after giving birth. Some women find the route of their problem is down to stretched muscles or damage from birth in the pelvic region. Damage like this most commonly leads to low bladder control from low pelvic floor health. InTone helps to strengthen the pelvic floor.
Don’t joke, sometimes all that’s needed is some counselling and sex education to help ease the anxiety surrounding the act of intercourse itself. Sometimes simply adding fantasy into the scenario adds that extra needed stimulation, or lighting some candles is enough to set a relaxed and romantic scene and encourage sexual desire. Sometimes the use of aromatherapy massage oils and a bit of sensual massage increases the levels of desire.
Like we said before, the treatment of sexual desire varies from woman to woman depending on their symptoms and the underlying cause of their FSD. Using a combination of therapies is probably the ideal way to get your sex life back on track.