Many women struggle with low sexual desire (also referred to as hypoactive sexual desire disorder) at some point during their lives. Causes may include medical conditions such as hormonal deficiencies, reactions to medications, and/or psychological or neuropsychiatric disorders. Difficulties in the patient's romantic relationship must also be considered.
Women who have problems with sexual arousal are unable to attain or maintain a physical response to intimacy and sex. Common culprits include medications, psychological and/or relationship issues, and/or conditions that interfere with blood flow, such as diabetes or arteriosclerosis.
Female orgasmic disorder is distinguished by the inability to achieve orgasm, or delayed orgasms. Common causes include hormone deficiencies, surgery, medications and psychological and/or relationship issues.
Many women complain of vaginal dryness at some point during their lives. Insufficient lubrication can be caused by a variety of factors, including menopause, oral contraceptives, medications and hormonal changes after pregnancy. Lubricants provide moisture to help reduce friction during intercourse and increase sensation. Ask your doctor for recommendations.
Other common conditions include dyspareunia, or pain during intercourse; and vaginismus, or painful spasms of the muscles of the vagina, preventing intercourse. Sexual aversion disorder, or the strong desire to avoid sexual activity, tends to be linked to psychological causes, specifically traumatic experiences.
For more extensive information on female sexual dysfunctions, visit Lahey's Health Encyclopedia.