Unlike men who require certain physiological events to have intercourse, women have no such restrictions. As such, the most common reasons for sexual dysfunction are often a lack of sexual desire, insufficient sexual arousal, or pain during intercourse. Some women also report an inability to have an orgasm or experience pain when achieving one.
While a decrease in desire can be caused by many things, including a negative relationship with a partner, or other life stresses, physical causes are often traced to a decrease in the hormones estrogen and testosterone that occur during menopause. Not only can this put a damper on desire, it can also cause a decrease in vaginal lubrication, making it more difficult to become aroused and causing intercourse to be painful (see question 6). In addition, certain illnesses, most notably a thyroid disorder or depression, can also hamper a woman's desire. The inability to achieve orgasm is seldom caused by a physical problem, but more often the result of inadequate stimulation by a woman's partner.