Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Understanding Sexual Health Disorders
So you’re not in the mood. Or you’re just not enjoying it anymore. Or sometimes, well, it hurts. And the thing is, these problems are bothering you or your partner or both of you. It’s important to remember that sexual health issues often referred to as sexual dysfunction by health care professionals can affect women of all ages and at any stage of life.
Female Sexual Dysfunction Defined
Sexual dysfunction in women is not just one condition. Instead, sexual health experts have identified several types of female sexual dysfunction (FSD). These include:
• Sexual desire disorders
• Orgasmic disorders
• Sexual pain disorders
Just as there are different types of pneumonia, depression and cancer, there also are different types of sexual disorders. Your diagnosis and how you, your partner and your health care professional approach treatment depends on your symptoms. The following list presents the different types of female sexual disorders and the definitions health care professionals use to diagnose them. Keep in mind that even if you think your sex life fits the description, if your condition doesn’t bother you and you’re just fine with your current sex life, then you do not have a disorder. 2 Unless your sexual health issue causes distress, you don’t necessarily need to “fix” it.
• Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD):
The technical definition of HSDD is the persistent or recurrent lack (or absence) of sexual thoughts and desire for sexual activity. HSDD causes distress for the patient, may put a strain on relationships with partners and is not due to the effects of a substance, including medications, or another medical condition. If you have HSDD, you simply aren’t interested—or aren’t as interested—in having sex as you once were. HSDD is undiagnosed for many women.
• Subjective Arousal Disorder.
You don’t feel sexually aroused or excited, and you don’t get pleasure from sex, but you are still able to become lubricated.
• Genital Sexual Arousal Disorder. You don’t get physically aroused when your partner touches your genitals, but you can still become aroused from other sexual stimulation (for example, kissing, having your breasts stroked, touching your partner).
• Combined Genital and Subjective Arousal Disorder.
As its name implies, this condition is a mix of both arousal disorders. Basically, nothing turns you on.
• Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder.
This is the opposite of the other three arousal disorders. You become physically aroused when nothing sexual is going on. Even having an orgasm doesn’t make this feeling go away. The key here is that this constant arousal bothers you; you want it to go away
• Orgasmic Disorder.
Put simply, despite being highly aroused and enjoying sex, you can’t experience intense orgasm. This applies to women who have never experienced orgasm or to women who previously had orgasms but now no longer have them because of changes in their health, their medications, life circumstances or relationships.
This condition means pain with sex. Whether the pain occurs before, during or after intercourse, if it interferes with your enjoyment of sex and your quality of life, it’s a sexual disorder. Dyspareunia is more common than you might think. One study suggests that as many as six out of 10 women experience pain with intercourse.
This condition refers to a persistent or recurrent involuntary contraction of the muscles surrounding the vagina when penetration is attempted, making intercourse or even inserting a tampon into your vagina painful, if not impossible.