Our Blog Sexual Health Persistent, recurrent problems with sexual response, desire, orgasm, or pain can cause you distress or strain your relationship with your partner. Many women experience problems with sexual health at some point. These problems can occur at any stage of life. They may be lifelong issues or be acquired later in life. They can occur only in certain sexual situations or in all sexual situations. We treat these very personal issues with expertise and compassion.
Risks factors Some factors may increase your risk of sexual health issues, including: Depression or anxiety Heart and blood vessel disease Neurological conditions, such as spinal cord injury or multiple sclerosis Liver or kidney failure Certain medications, such as antidepressants or high blood pressure medications Emotional or psychological stress, especially with regard to your relationship with your partner A history of sexual abuse Causes Sexual problems often develop when your hormones are in flux, such as after having a baby or during menopause.
Major illness, such as cancer, diabetes, or heart and blood vessel cardiovascular disease, can also contribute to sexual health issues. Factors, which are often interrelated, that contribute to sexual health problems include: Any number of medical conditions, including cancer, kidney failure, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, and bladder problems, can lead to sexual health problems.
Lower estrogen levels after menopause may lead to changes in your genital tissues and sexual responsiveness. These factors can lead to painful intercourse dyspareunia. Sexual desire also decreases when hormonal levels decrease. Untreated anxiety or depression can cause or contribute to sexual health problems, as can long-term stress and a history of sexual abuse. Cultural and religious issues and problems with body image also can be factors. Symptoms Your symptoms will depend on the type or types of sexual health issues you have.
This is the most common of female sexual health issue and it involves a lack of sexual interest and willingness to be sexual. You may desire sex, but you have difficulty with arousal or are unable to become aroused or maintain arousal during sexual activity.
You have persistent or recurrent difficulty in achieving orgasm after sufficient sexual arousal and ongoing stimulation. You have pain associated with sexual stimulation or vaginal contact. Diagnosis To diagnose your sexual health issue, your doctor will: Discuss your sexual and medical history: You might be uneasy talking with your doctor about such personal matters, but your sexuality is a key part of your well-being.
The more forthcoming you can be about your sexual history and current problems, the better the chances of finding an effective approach to treating them. Perform a pelvic exam: During the exam, your doctor checks for physical changes that affect your sexual enjoyment, such as thinning of your genital tissues, decreased skin elasticity, scarring, or pain.
Your doctor may also refer you to a counselor or therapist specializing in sexual and relationship problems. Treatment Keep in mind that these issues are a problem only if they bother you. Women with sexual concerns most often benefit from a combined treatment approach that addresses medical as well as relationship and emotional issues. Nonmedical treatment for sexual health problems Your doctor might recommend that you start with these strategies: Open communication with your partner makes a world of difference in your sexual satisfaction.
To treat sexual health problems tied to a medical condition, your doctor might recommend that you: Adjust or change medication that has sexual side effects Treat a thyroid problem or other hormonal condition Optimize treatment for depression or anxiety Try strategies for relieving pelvic pain or other pain problems Treatment for problems linked to a hormonal cause might include: Localized estrogen therapy comes in the form of a vaginal ring, cream, or tablet. This therapy benefits sexual function by improving vaginal tone and elasticity, increasing vaginal blood flow, and enhancing lubrication.
Testosterone plays a role in healthy sexual function in women as well as men, although women have much lower amounts of testosterone.
Originally developed as an antidepressant, Flibanserin Addyi is approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for low sexual desire in premenopausal women. A daily pill, Addyi may boost sex drive in women who experience low sexual desire and who find the experience distressing. Potentially serious side effects include low blood pressure, dizziness and fainting, particularly if the drug is mixed with alcohol. Studies looking into the effectiveness of these drugs in women show inconsistent results.
One drug, sildenafil Viagra , may prove beneficial for some women who have sexual dysfunction as a result of taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors SSRIs , a class of drugs used to treat depression.
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