Female sexual dysfunction
Female sexual dysfunction describes a persistent state of diminished sexual desire and problems with sexual response. Sexual dysfunction can cause feelings of stress, embarrassment or inadequacy, and often can affect a woman’s relationship with her partner.
The gynecologists at North Shore-LIJ Health System help women with sexual dysfunction understand how things like aging, menopause, depression, medication and physical changes can affect their sexual desire. Treatment is focused on restoring healthy sexual desire and intimacy with a woman’s partner, while educating the patient on ways to ease sexual difficulties.
To treat sexual dysfunction, North Shore-LIJ urogynecologists specialize in:
- Anatomic correction
- Hormone management for vaginal lubrication
- Estrogen and testosterone replacement
- Arousal disorders
- Orgasm disorders
- Compatibility issues with partners
The specially trained physicians can perform a detailed history and physical examination to identify the cause of the problem. When needed, laboratory testing is done to evaluate for hormonal imbalance. Surgical correction of vulvar or vaginal abnormalities is available to women who have enlarged labia or vaginal prolapse that interferes with sexual function.
The specialized care provided for women’s sexuality and pleasure focuses on making each patient comfortable and finding the best solution for any sexual dysfunction issues. The doctors work in conjunction with counselors who can help establish a stronger relationship between partners.
Symptoms of female sexual dysfunction can include:
- Low sex drive, or no sex drive
- Difficulty remaining aroused during sexual activity
- Lack of orgasm
- Pain during sexual contact
It is important to note that many factors can lead to sexual dysfunction, several of which are treatable. Certain medications, including antidepressants and blood pressure drugs, can inhibit the body’s sex drive and make it difficult to reach orgasm. Changing hormonal levels due to menopause may also affect a woman’s sensitivity to sexual touch, and lubricating fluids may become thinner or absent.