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  • Women’s Sexual Dysfunction

    Are you feeling a lack of interest and desire for sex?

    Do you experience sexual discrepancy with your partner?

    Are you feeling an aversion to sexual intimacy?

    Do you experience difficulty with physical, sexual arousal?

    Are you having challenges experiencing orgasm?

    Do you have pain with sexual intercourse?

    Are you feeling anxious and stressed about challenges with vaginal penetration?

    Do you have a lack of sexual pleasure and satisfaction with intimacy?

    According to research studies, one out of three women in the United States and Europe experience challenges with sexuality causing anxiety and stress with intimacy satisfaction in their relationships. The most common problems are an absence of interest in sex, anxiety regarding intimacy, experiencing pain with sexual intercourse, inability to achieve orgasm, challenges in becoming aroused, and a lack of satisfaction in sexuality.

    Women are vulnerable to experiencing temporary changes in their sexuality, including pregnancy and birth, breastfeeding, and postpartum depression. A mother who is busy with life/work balance and raising young children can be mentally and physically exhausted, influencing her lack of desire. Women with mental health issues, including anxiety and depression, and psychiatric prescriptions may decrease arousal and desire for intimacy. As women enter menopause, changes within their hormones, bodies, lubrication, and self-image may change, causing anxiety and distress within their relationships.

    Symptoms

    ·       Low sexual desire.

    ·       Difficulty with arousal or maintaining arousal

    ·       Challenges in achieving orgasm

    ·       Dyspareunia (painful intercourse)

    Physical Factors

    ·      Cancer

    ·      Diabetes

    ·      Pregnancy, Birth, Breastfeeding

    ·      Cardiovascular Heart Disease

    ·      Bladder Problems

    ·      Psychiatric Medications (antidepressants)

    ·      Blood Pressure Medications

    ·      Antihistamines

    ·      Chemotherapy

    ·      Menopause

    ·      Low Estrogen

    Psychological & Social

    ·      Anxiety

    ·      Depression

    ·      Sexual Abuse & Trauma

    ·      Adjustment of Pregnancy

    ·      Becoming a New Mother

    ·      Relationship Conflicts

    ·      Cultural and Religious beliefs

    ·      Body Image Issues

    What Causes Women’s Sexual Dysfunction?

    Female sexual dysfunction causes include physical and psychological, medical conditions, hormonal imbalances, or medication. Psychological factors include sexual abuse and trauma, culture and social constructs, religious beliefs about sexuality, attractiveness and body image issues, and mental health issues. Interpersonal conflict, feeling unsatisfied, and relationship problems and influence the quality of the connection.

    Types of Women Sexual Dysfunction

    Anorgasmia Disorder – inability to have an orgasm

    Dyspareunia – Painful sexual intercourse

    Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder – Low sexual desire

    Sexual Arousal Disorder- difficulty becoming aroused

    How can Sex Therapy help?

    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the gold standard for sexual dysfunction for achieving treatment objectives and goals. I provide an inclusive, compassionate, supportive, non-judgmental, safe space and precise psychoeducation about female sexuality. I actively listen to your needs, wants, and desires about your personal beliefs, values, interpersonal relationships, and goals.

    I develop a comprehensive individualized treatment plan and collaborate with primary care physicians, gynecologists, and physical therapists specializing in women’s pelvic floor. We identify distortions in cognitive thinking, provide evidence for and against these thoughts, observe your emotions and where you are feeling it in your body. We work together to change difficult, complicated feelings, thoughts, and maladaptive behaviors that interfere with experiencing healthy pleasure in your sexuality.

    Mindfulness and meditation are incredible tools for learning to stay in the here and now and the present moment by effectively increasing your relaxation ability and decreasing anxiety and fears related to penetration and sexual intercourse. As a consequence, you may begin to question your love for your partner and your ability to maintain the relationship.

     

    References

    Female Sexual Dysfunction (2019). Canadian Psychological Association. https://cpa.ca/psychology-works-fact-sheet-female-sexual-dysfunction/

    Sexual dysfunction in women (2018). Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical

    Education and Research.

    Shifren, J.L., (2018). Overview of sexual dysfunction in women: Epidemiology, risk factors, and evaluation. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search.

    Overview of female sexual function and dysfunction (2018). Merck Manual Professional Version. https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gynecology-and-obstetrics/sexual-dysfunction-in-women/overview-of-female-sexual-function-and-dysfunction.

    Wein, A.J. et al., (2016). Sexual function and dysfunction in the female. In: Campbell-Walsh Urology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; https://www.clinicalkey.com.