Types and Causes of Female Sexual Dysfunction
Female sexual dysfunction is when a woman experiences persistent issues related to:
- Physical changes or conditions that impact intimacy
- Having pain during sex that causes distress or a strained intimate relationship
- Not wanting to have sex
- Not having an orgasm during sex
- Not becoming aroused or excited during sex
Common underlying causes can include pregnancy, surgery, cancer, diabetes, menopause, anxiety, depression, or even trauma. There are a number of conditions that can result, all of which can lead to sexual dysfunction.
Vaginal and Urinary Changes
- Vaginal atrophy, inflammation of the vagina caused by thinning of tissues.
- Vaginal dryness, decreased lubrication in and around the vagina.
- Vaginal laxity, when the skin and muscles inside the vaginal canal have loosened, often following childbirth or as part of aging.
- Vaginismus, when vaginal muscles spasm when something is entering it, like a tampon.
- Urinary incontinence or leakage
- Vulvodynia, when there is chronic pain affecting the labia, clitoris and vaginal opening.
- Painful intercourse (dyspareunia)
- Lichen sclerosis, a chronic condition that causes thin, white patches of skin in the genital area.
- Vaginal burning
- Pain after trauma to pelvis, due to surgery, personal trauma, injury, or childbirth.
- Noncoital sexual pain, or genital pain that occurs at times other than sexual intercourse.
- Genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM), menopause symptoms that come from having lower levels estrogens and other hormones in the body. GSM can include:
- burning and irritation in the vagina
- dryness, discomfort, or pain with intercourse
- urinary problems
- hormonal imbalance disorders, related to sex hormones
- Hypoactive (low interest) sexual desire disorder, a low level of interest in sex that leads to distress.
- Hyperactive sexual desire disorder, or high interest in sex that leads to distress.
- Female orgasmic disorder, when there is an inability to achieve orgasm that causes distress.
- Sexual arousal disorder, a lack or absence of sexual fantasies, desire for sexual activity, and/or inability to maintain sexual arousal response that causes distress.