Female Sexual Dysfunction

The American Psychiatric Association defines Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD) as:

“Persistent or recurrent inability to attain or maintain until completion of sexual activity, an adequate lubrication-swelling response of sexual excitement.”

That’s pretty detached and hard to follow.  Let’s try to make it more personal. Are you troubled by these characteristics of FSD?

  • Decreased vaginal lubrication
  • Impaired libido
  • Decreased vaginal and clitoral sensation
  • Painful intercourse
  • Difficulty achieving orgasm

If you suffer from these symptoms, you’re not alone. It is estimated that 43% of American women experience some sort of sexual dysfunction (that’s 30,000,000 women!), but only 1 in 10 seeks help.

Female Sexual Dysfunction falls into several categories:

  1. Sexual Desire Disorders
    1. Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder
    2. Sexual Aversion Disorder
  2. Sexual Arousal Disorder
  3. Orgasmic Disorder
  4. Sexual Pain Disorders
    1. Dyspareunia (painful intercourse)
    2. Vaginismus (vaginal spasms)
    3. Other Sexual Pain Disorders

AMERICAN PSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATION DEFINITIONS:

Hypoactive (Low) Sexual Desire Disorder

Persistent or recurrent deficiency (or absence) of sexual fantasies/thoughts and or desire for or receptivity to sexual activity, which causes personal distress.

Sexual Aversion Disorder
Persistent or recurrent phobic aversion to and avoidance of sexual contact with a sexual partner, which causes personal distress.

Sexual Arousal Disorder
Persistent or recurrent inability to attain or maintain sufficient sexual excitement, causing personal distress, which may be expressed as a lack of subjective excitement or genital (lubrication/swelling) or other somatic responses.

Orgasmic Disorder
Persistent or recurrent difficulty, delay in or absence of attaining orgasm following sufficient sexual stimulation and arousal, which causes personal distress.

Dyspareunia (Painful Intercourse)
Recurrent or persistent genital pain associated with sexual intercourse.

Vaginismus (Vaginal Spasms)
Recurrent or persistent involuntary spasm of the musculature of the outer third of the vagina that interferes with vaginal penetration, which causes personal distress.

Other Sexual Pain Disorders
Persistent or recurrent genital pain induced by noncoital (non-intercourse) sexual stimulation.

Note that most items specify that in order to be of concern, it must cause “personal distress”. Many women are perfectly content being less sexually active and are not at all concerned about it. However, if any of these circumstances sometimes cause you to experience “personal distress,” then probably you should mention it to us at your next visit. Please don’t hesitate to bring up such personal matters with us.  We’ve heard it all many, many times.  There are probably things we can do that will help you recapture a more fulfilling love life.