Gynecologic Health — Sexual Dysfunction

Sexual dysfunction is very common, with concerns arising in 40% of women and 12% with significant functional problems. They affect each stage of sexual response (desire, arousal, and orgasm) and each stage of life (reproductive years, postpartum, and after menopause). Often, issues are found to have multiple contributing factors instead of a single cause.

Situations contributing to sexual problems include:

  • Stress or conflict in the relationship
  • Current or history of abuse
  • Chronic pelvic or vaginal pain
  • Changes in self-esteem
  • Impaired pelvic support
  • Medical conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, cancer
  • Emotional conditions such as depression
  • Medications such as SSRI antidepressants or beta-blockers
  • Breast surgery or hysterectomy
  • Hormonal changes after menopause

Just as multiple factors can contribute to sexual dysfunction, treatment is often approached from a variety of sources including medications. Further care may include evaluation and treatment by professionals such as physical therapists, sex therapists, psychotherapists, and marriage/family counselors.