Female Sexual Dysfunction
What is Female Sexual Dysfunction?
Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD) is a term that covers a number of specific conditions. In crude terms, FSD is defined as when a woman's sexual function is sub-normal. A few medical academics have even published articles which suggest that there is no such thing as FSD but there are millions of women who would vehemently disagree.
To dismiss FSD as a cynical ploy by drug companies to get women to take medication is an interesting avenue of thought but with so many women complaining of the symptoms of FSD (low libido, inability to have an orgasm and pain during intercourse) surely it is an area that deserves further investigation. If there are medical solutions, is it not right that these are developed? After all, products like Viagra have revolutionised the sex lives of millions of men so why should women not also benefit from similar medical advances?
Evidence for FSD
There have been some significant surveys carried out over the years which quite clearly demonstrate the existence of Female Sexual Dysfunction but there are many facets to this condition with FSD acting as an umbrella term for many sub-strata of symptoms.
The most common problem that was identified was a lack of sex drive or libido. This is known as Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD.) In a recent survey, around 37% of women said that they thought about sex a few times a month only and only 33% think about sex more than once a week.
Other manifestations of FSD include pain during intercourse (this seems to get less relevant as women age) and Female Orgasmic Disorder. Only 29% of women in the survey said that they always had orgasms during sex but 40% say that they are satisfied with their partners. Of course, being satisfied with ones partners does not mean that we are satisfied by our partners!
Causes of Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder
The most obvious and frequent cause for HSDD is a hormonal imbalance, which we will discuss below but other factors can also have an impact. Depression and anxiety disorders can cause a lack of libido as can certain prescription medications. If a reduction in sexual desire accompanies a new drug regimen then it is worth speaking to your doctor about this as a change in drug therapy may be possible.
When a woman enters the menopause, this can dramatically alter the way that she feels about sex. The removal of the ovaries can also induce a change of attitude towards sex as the ovaries are responsible for the production of the sex hormones.
The Role of Testosterone
Most people consider testosterone to be an exclusively male hormone but this is a fallacy. The ovaries produce a total of six hormones including testosterone, which is very important in the role of sexual desire. Testosterone is also produced in the adrenal glands.
The use of testosterone therapy has been demonstrated to be of significant benefit to women suffering from low libido. This sort of therapy will only work if the cause of the low libido is low testosterone levels so it has a particular impact on women who are going through the menopause or have had a surgically induced menopause. There is a testosterone replacement therapy, which has been specifically designed for women. This medication is called Intrinsa and it is available through The Online Clinic for certain women.
If you would like to register for a consultation for Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder, please click on the Free Consultation icon below. However, before you start out on a course of treatment you should understand that sexual responses vary between women and within each individual and concerns about sex are very common. Some sexual problems, while distressing, may reflect normal variations in a woman's life and should not be categorised as a “dysfunction”.