FSD is more typical as women age and is a progressive and widespread condition. Common symptoms associated with FSD include diminished vaginal lubrication, pain and discomfort upon intercourse, decreased sense of arousal and difficulty in achieving orgasm. Only a small percentage of women seek medical attention.
They are:. Women suffering from FSD become anxious or distressed about being unable to engage in or experience sexual activity as they wish. However, other women may experience sexual difficulties e.
This is a corrected version of the article that appeared in print. This version of the article includes supplemental content. A more recent article on sexual dysfunction in women is available.
Sexual dysfunction refers to a problem occurring during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual or couple from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual activity. The sexual response cycle traditionally includes excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution. Desire and arousal are both part of the excitement phase of the sexual response.
Persistent, recurrent problems with sexual response, desire, orgasm or pain — that distress you or strain your relationship with your partner — are known medically as sexual dysfunction. Many women experience problems with sexual function at some point, and some have difficulties throughout their lives. Female sexual dysfunction can occur at any stage of life.
Sexual dysfunction includes painful intercourse, painful contraction spasm of the vaginal muscles, and problems with sexual desire, arousal, or orgasm that cause distress. Depression or anxiety, other psychologic factors, disorders, and drugs can contribute to sexual dysfunction, as can the woman's situation, including relationship difficulties. To identify a problem, doctors often talk to both partners separately and together, and a pelvic examination is often necessary when the woman has pain or problems with orgasm.
A more recent article on sexual dysfunction in women is available. See related patient information handout on sexual dysfunction in womenwritten by the author of this article. Related Editorial.
Such women may have never felt sexually excited or had an orgasm. What was once a pleasurable experience shared by a couple may now be a painful act which can lead to dissatisfaction, unhappiness and consequently have a serious impact on the quality of life of the couple. Many women find great difficulty in talking about sexual difficulties with their partner and many more women fail to seek treatment due to shame, embarrassment or fear that health professionals will misunderstand them. Sex becomes a problem only if one partner feels unhappy about it.
The ideal approach to treating female sexual dysfunction involves a team effort between the patient, healthcare providers and trained therapists. Most types of sexual dysfunction can be corrected by treating the underlying physical or psychological problems. Other treatment strategies focus on the following:.
Because many of women's sexual dysfunction symptoms are psychological Skip navigation! Natalie Gil. It's not just that we're having less sex — problems between the sheets or wherever you have sex are common, even among young people, if countless surveys, problem pages and pieces of anecdotal evidence are to be believed.