Sexual Problems in Women - Cause
A woman's sexuality is a complex mix of mental,
emotional, and physical signals. A problem in one area can grow to involve
others. For example, a physical problem can lead to fear of pain, and the fear
can lead to guilt about its effect on your partner. So the causes of
sexual problems in women are often
Psychological causes may be
related to past or current physical or emotional problems. These mental and emotional causes include:
Physical causes can be normal
hormonal changes, injuries, medical procedures, or other medical problems. Physical causes include:
- Hormonal changes such as those related to the
menstrual cycle, use of birth control pills or
hormone therapy, pregnancy, recovery from pregnancy,
- Pain during intercourse.
This may result from:
- Vaginal dryness. Lack of lubrication in the vagina is the most common cause of pain with sex.
- Vaginismus (say "vadj-uh-NIZ-mus"). This involves painful spasms of the vaginal muscles. Vaginismus may be linked to
a fear that stems from losing control or from trauma such as rape or sexual abuse. But sometimes there is a medical cause, such as:
- Dyspareunia (say "dis-puh-ROO-nee-uh"). This is physical pain that occurs during entry into the vagina, during deep thrusting, or pain after sexual intercourse.
- A physical abnormality.
- One or more of many medical conditions. This includes diseases that affect blood circulation, like diabetes, or problems with your thyroid, like hypothyroidism. Other medical problems, like endometriosis or arthritis, may cause pain during sex.
- Medical treatments. Sometimes treatments cause changes that result in pain during intercourse or other sexual problems. These include previous surgeries, treatments for infertility, and cancer treatments.
Aging may cause a decrease in sexual desire and changes in the vagina. These changes include:
- Thinner vaginal walls, so that the
vagina may be easily bruised or chafed.
- Narrowing, shortening,
and/or stiffening of the vagina, causing pain during intercourse
- A reduction in lubrication and a lengthening of the
time needed to lubricate the vagina.
- More time needed to feel
Orgasms that do not last as long they
Medicine use can sometimes
decrease sexual desire and arousal. Such
Losing a partner is a common life
event that can lead a woman to be less sexually active and satisfied. This is
not a "sexual problem." But it can leave you with unmet needs for intimacy.
Cultural and societal factors may play a
role in a woman's sexual health. Inadequate health services and/or a lack of
sex education may result in a woman's lack of knowledge about sexual behavior.
Drinking alcohol and using illegal recreational drugs in small amounts may reduce sexual inhibitions at first. But continually using drugs, such as cocaine or amphetamines, or drinking too much alcohol will cause problems with orgasm for a woman. Also, illegal drugs as well as many medicines may cause a woman to have less sexual desire.