Openly speaking about these difficulties enables those who suffer from these types of problems to consult a professional, which is the first step towards finding a solution.

Natalia Gennaro, expert gynecologist, specialised in laparoscopic surgery and the pelvic floor.

50%

50% of sexually active women suffer from some form of sexual dysfunction and approximately 60% of them do not seek treatment or help.

From a psychological and emotional point of view, women have a much more complicated sexuality and their experience is more related to social and cultural messages.

For a correct diagnosis and treatment, it’s necessary to rule out medical, psychological and social causes and the idea is to study the sexual dynamic of the couple in question, since we often find combined dysfunctions.

Female sexual dysfunction can be classified in four different areas in which women experience difficulties:

  • Sexual desire disorder.
  • Sexual arousal disorder.
  • Orgasm dysfunction.
  • Sexual pain disorder (dyspareunia and vaginismus).

 

Sexual desire dysfunction:

This is possibly the most frequent female sexual dysfunction. Approximately 30% of all women suffer from it during at least one period of their lives: pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, menopause or during times of crisis. Surgical procedures, hormonal disturbances and certain diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and depression can lead to a lack of sexual desire, as well as changes in methods of contraception, tiredness, stress, mood swings, obesity, negative body image, unstable relationships with a partner, past traumatic sexual episodes and an excessive consumption of alcoholic drinks and drugs, amongst other causes.

 

Sexual arousal dysfunction:

Sexual arousal is primarily a vascular reaction. Factors that interfere with the flow of blood or nerve endings in the genital area, particularly the clitoris and vagina, can cause these types of disorders. Childbirth, prolapse, surgery, diabetes, heart disease or atherosclerosis and spinal injuries may also interfere with the messages that are sent from the genital organs to the brain.

Lack of interest in poor or inadequate stimulation may also explain this circumstance. Certain hormonal states, such as menopause or bilateral oophorectomy, also cause a decrease in blood testosterone levels.

Orgasm dysfunction:

Difficulties when reaching orgasm can be classified as follows: primary (women who have never had an orgasm) or secondary (women who have had an orgasm before but have later found it difficult).

This can be linked to certain medical conditions that are related to the blood supply and nerve endings of the clitoris and sometimes psychological problems.

Pain during sex:

Pain during intercourse (dyspareunia) can be caused by inflammatory pelvic diseases, gynecological or pelvic surgery, radiotherapy for gynecological tumors, uterine or vaginal tumors and fibroids, endometriosis, urinary tract infections, ovarian cysts, irritable bowel syndrome, lack of lubrication or any sexually transmitted infection.

Vaginismus, which is painful penetration and sometimes even impossible penetration, is the involuntary and persistent contraction of the perineal muscles surrounding the exterior of the vagina.

  

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