Female Sexual Dysfunction
Female sexual dysfunction (FSD) is a complex problem that can have many different causes. Physical illness and psychological factors are predominantly responsible for the problems that are grouped within this broad term. Symptoms of FSD include low female libido, vaginal dryness and the inability to climax or become aroused. It is estimated that up to 40% of women suffer from sexual dysfunction in Europe, with women aged 40 and above more susceptible to this condition. Female sexual dysfunction can also occur in young women who have suffered from critical illnesses such as cancer.
What causes female sexual dysfunction?
Female sexual dysfunction can stem from serious medical conditions, emotional problems and a combination of physical and psychological causes. Female sexual dysfunction treatment can be considered if the condition is a result of the following physical and psychological factors:
- High blood pressure or diabetes
- Infections and growths in the vaginal area
- Negative reactions to contraception
- Medical procedures such as a hysterectomy
- Poor self-esteem
- Feelings of shame or guilt about sex
- Fear of pregnancy
- Stress and fatigue
Further causes of female sexual dysfunction
Medications for the treatment of high blood pressure, peptic ulcers, depression or anxiety and cancer may also interfere with your desire for sex. So may sexual abuse or domestic abuse, which can provoke feelings of guilt and anxiety that stop you from enjoying intercourse even when being intimate with a new partner.
How can I treat female sexual dysfunction?
Female sexual dysfunction should be properly diagnosed by a doctor so that the appropriate method of treatment can be recommended. If necessary a doctor can also write a prescription for medication.
Hormone replacement therapy using oestrogen or other sex hormones is a female sexual dysfunction treatment which can relieve hot flushes, improve genital sensation and decrease pain and burning during sexual intercourse. Oestrogen can be taken as an oral medication, applied as a topical cream, a patch or it can be released into the body by a ring that is inserted into the vagina.
Psychological counselling is used to help women get through FSD caused by depression, poor self-esteem, sexual abuse, feelings of shame or guilt about sex, stress and fatigue.
Intrinsa was a libido enhancing testosterone patch for women who have lost their desire for sex after a hysterectomy. Once the ovaries have been removed, the body can no longer produce testosterone, reducing the libido and leading to a form of female sexual dysfunction. Intrinsa was supplied in the form of a discreet transdermal patch which produced a gradual supply of hormones into the blood stream to help restore sex drive. It was able to restore libido within as little as four weeks. Studies showed that 73% of women using Intrinsa experienced more satisfying sexual experiences after using it, and more than 56% reported an obvious rise in their desire for sex.
Unfortunately, Intrinsa was withdrawn from sale in late 2012.