Mental Health: Female Sexual Problems
A sexual problem, or sexual dysfunction, refers to a problem 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 has four phases: excitement, plateau, orgasm and resolution.
While research suggests that sexual dysfunction is common (43% of women and 31% of men report some degree of difficulty), it is a topic that many people are hesitant to discuss. Fortunately, most cases of sexual dysfunction are treatable, so it is important to share your concerns with your partner and doctor.
What Causes Sexual Problems?
Sexual dysfunction can be a result of a physical or psychological problem.
- Physical causes: Many physical and/or medical conditions can cause problems with sexual function. These conditions include diabetes, heart disease, neurological diseases, hormonal imbalances, menopause, chronic diseases such as kidney disease or liver failure, and alcoholism and drug abuse. In addition, the side effects of certain medications, including some antidepressant drugs, can affect sexual desire and function.
- Psychological causes: These include work-related stress and anxiety, concern about sexual performance, marital or relationship problems, depression, feelings of guilt and the effects of a past sexual trauma.
Who Is Affected By Sexual Problems?
Both men and women are affected by sexual problems. Sexual problems occur in adults of all ages. Among those commonly affected are those in the geriatric population, which may be related to a decline in health associated with aging.
How Do Sexual Problems Affect Women?
The most common problems related to sexual dysfunction in women include:
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