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Sexual Conditions Health Center

Sexual Problems in Women - Cause

Your sexuality is a mixture of mental, emotional, and physical signals. A problem in one area can grow to involve other areas.

Mental and emotional causes: These include stress, depression, relationship problems, fear, a history of sexual abuse or rape, and being unhappy about your body.

Physical causes: These include natural hormonal changes, such as those related to your menstrual cycle, birth control pills, or pregnancy. Physical causes also include injuries, pain during sex, and certain health problems, such as diabetes, endometriosis, or arthritis.

Medical treatments: Sometimes treatments for other illnesses or conditions—such as past surgeries or cancer treatments—cause changes that result in pain during sex or other problems. For example, it's common for a woman who has had her breast removed or has had her uterus and ovaries removed to have less sexual desire.

Medicines: Some medicines may lower sexual desire and arousal. These include certain medicines for high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, and allergies.

Getting older: As a woman ages, she may have a decrease in sexual desire. She may need more time to feel sexually aroused. And aging can cause physical changes. Vaginal walls may grow thinner. The vagina itself may narrow or shorten. There may be less lubrication. These changes can cause pain during sex.

Alcohol and drug abuse: Drinking too much or continually using illegal drugs like cocaine or amphetamines will eventually cause problems with orgasm and sexual desire.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 30, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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