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    Understanding Female Sexual Problems -- the Basics

    What Causes Sexual Problems in Women? continued...

    Your sexual functioning may be affected by medical conditions such as:

    Pain during intercourse (dyspareunia) may occur as a result of:

    • Painful ovarian cysts
    • Pain or spasm of the vaginal muscles
    • Pelvic infections
    • Endometriosis
    • Uterine or bladder prolapse
    • Inadequate vaginal lubrication which can happen with menopause or with lack of foreplay
    • Skin conditions of the vulva and vagina called lichen sclerosis
    • An abnormally formed vagina (due to a birth defect, scarring from repair after childbirth, or radiation damage)
    • A poor-fitting contraceptive diaphragm
    • An allergic reaction to certain condoms or spermicidal jellies or foams
    • Fears or anxiety
    • A combination of one or more of the above conditions

    A variety of medications and drugs can interfere with sexual functioning, including:

    Psychological factors may play a role, particularly if your problem is lack of desire or inability to get aroused. You may find it difficult to enjoy a sexual relationship if:

    • You are under a lot of stress.
    • Your relationship is troubled.
    • You have a history of traumatic sexual encounters.
    • You were raised in a family with strict sexual taboos.
    • You have poor body image.
    • You're afraid of getting pregnant or of contracting a sexually-transmitted disease.
    • You have negative feelings (including guilt, anger, fear, and low self-esteem).
    • You have an anxiety disorder.
    • You are depressed.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD on March 02, 2015
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