Female sexual dysfunction


In the field of medicine, the term “sexual dysfunction” refers to persistent and recurrent problems related to sexual responsiveness, desire, orgasm, or pain that cause distress or create difficulties in one’s relationship with their partner.

Numerous women experience challenges with their sexual function at various points in their lives, and for some, these struggles persist. Female sexual dysfunction can occur at any stage of life, impacting every sexual situations or only specific situations.

About 30% to 40% of women experience sexual dysfunction. The main grievance is a lack of desire. Sex issues can afflict women at any stage of life, but they tend to get worse as women get older. Sexual dysfunction can be short-lived or persistent (chronic).

A complex interaction of physiology, emotions, experiences, beliefs, lifestyle, and relationships goes into a sexual response. Any component disruption can impact sexual desire, arousal, or satisfaction, and treatment frequently combines multiple strategies.


Depending on the sort of sexual dysfunction you’re dealing with, there are different symptoms:

  • Decreased sexual desire. The most prevalent female sexual dysfunction involves a lack of desire for and willingness to engage in sexual activity.
  • Sexual arousal disorder. Even though you may still have a strong desire for sex, you may find it difficult to arouse yourself or find it difficult to maintain arousal throughout sexual activity.
  • Sexual pain disorder (Dyspareunia). When you are stimulated sexually or have vaginal contact, you experience pain.
  • Orgasmic disorder (Anorgasmia). Even after sexual arousal and continuing stimulation, you frequently struggle to experience orgasm.

Make an appointment with your doctor for an evaluation if sexual issues impact your relationship or cause you anxiety.


When your hormones are fluctuating, such as after giving birth or throughout menopause, sexual issues can arise. Sexual dysfunction can also be a result of serious illnesses including cancer, diabetes, or heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease.

The following factors, many of which are connected, can lead to sexual dysfunction or dissatisfaction:

  • Physical. Sexual dysfunction can be brought on by a wide variety of illnesses, such as cancer, kidney failure, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, and bladder issues. Your sexual desire and your body’s capacity for orgasm can be decreased by a number of medications, including several antidepressants, blood pressure meds, antihistamines, and chemotherapy therapies.
  • Hormonal. Following menopause, lower estrogen levels can lead to changes in genital tissues and sexual receptivity. The decrease in estrogen can result in reduced blood flow to the pelvic area, potentially affecting genital sensation and causing a lengthened time to reach orgasm.

Moreover, if sexual activity is not engaged in, the vaginal lining may become thinner and less elastic, particularly due to lower estrogen levels. Dyspareunia, a condition characterized by painful sexual intercourse, can be a consequence of these factors. As hormone levels decline, sexual desire may also decrease.

After giving birth and during nursing, your body’s hormone levels change, which can cause vaginal dryness and alter your desire for sex.

  • Psychological and social. Sexual dysfunction can result from or be exacerbated by untreated anxiety, depression, chronic stress, and a history of sexual abuse. Pregnancy anxieties and new mother demands could have similar impacts.

Ongoing conflicts with your partner regarding sexual or other matters can also impact your sexual receptivity. Additionally, factors such as body image concerns, cultural and religious influences, and various other factors may also contribute to changes in sexual receptivity.

Risk factors

Several elements could raise your risk of experiencing sexual dysfunction:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Disease of the blood vessels and heart
  • Neurological disorders including multiple sclerosis and spinal cord damage
  • Gynecological disorders like vulvovaginal atrophy, lichen sclerosus, or infections
  • A few drugs, like antidepressants or drugs for high blood pressure
  • Psychological or emotional stress
  • Past experiences with sexual assault