Understanding Female Sexual Problems -- the Basics
What Causes Sexual Problems in Women? continued...
Your sexual functioning may be affected by medical conditions such as:
- High blood pressure
- Kidney disease
- Multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury
- Thyroid disease and other hormone disorders
- The consequences of radiation therapy for cancer
- Any other condition that causes fatigue and debilitation
- Premature menopause or removal of ovaries
Pain during intercourse (dyspareunia) may occur as a result of:
- Painful ovarian cysts
- Pain or spasm of the vaginal muscles
- Pelvic infections
- 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:
- Drugs to treat high blood pressure
- Pain medications
- Certain antidepressants
- Antipsychotic medications
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.