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Female Sexual Dysfunction 

Female sexual dysfunction is a woman’s inability to experience satisfaction during sex. 

Sexual dysfunction for a female refers to any condition that hinders her ability to experience satisfaction during any stage of the sexual cycle, which includes: 

  • Desire 
  • Arousal 
  • Orgasm 
  • Resolution 

What Causes Female Sexual Dysfunction? 

Causes of sexual dysfunction in females can be both physical and psychological. 

Physical causes include: 

  • Disorders related to blood flow that prevent the vagina, clitoris and labia from receiving adequate amounts of oxygen and nutrient-rich blood, which is necessary for sexual arousal 
  • Gynecological conditions such as endometriosis, ovarian cysts and vaginitis that can result in pain during sex 
  • Hormonal imbalances that can cause vaginal atrophy (inflammation), resulting in painful sexual intercourse 
  • Other health conditions such as arthritis, diabetes and heart disease that can impede on a female’s ability to enjoy sex 

Psychological causes include: 

  • Depression, which can result in a decreased interest in sex 
  • Stress at home or in the workplace, which can make it more difficult to enjoy sex 
  • History of physical or sexual abuse, which can bring about feelings of fear during intimacy 
  • Relationship problems between a female and her partner, which can manifest into a lack of satisfaction during sex 

What Are the Symptoms of Female Sexual Dysfunction? 

Symptoms of sexual dysfunction in females can include: 

  • Low libido, or a diminished sexual desire 
  • Difficulty becoming aroused or maintaining arousal 
  • Difficulty in reaching an orgasm 
  • Pain during sexual intercourse 

How Is Female Sexual Dysfunction Diagnosed? 

Speaking with a healthcare provider can help identify any physical or psychological factors that may be causing sexual dysfunction. Methods for diagnosing female sexual dysfunction stemming from a physical condition include: 

  • A discussion of the patient’s medical history with a healthcare provider, including any past surgical procedures 
  • Physical examinations such as a pelvic exam or a Pap test that will identify any gynecological concerns 
  • Imaging tests that will point out the presence of tumors or cysts 
  • Blood tests that may identify any hormonal imbalances 

Being honest about the fears and anxieties you experience during sex can also help a healthcare provider pinpoint any psychological issues that may be the source of your sexual dysfunction. 

How Is Female Sexual Dysfunction Treated? 

The urologists at Tampa General Hospital can work with you to develop a treatment plan that’s right for you. Treatment options for female sexual dysfunction include: 

  • Hormone therapy 
  • Medication 
  • Pain-reducing measures during intercourse 
  • Counseling 
  • Approaches for increasing arousal