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Management of Female Sexual Dysfunction

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Debates on sexuality and reproductive health have been controversial, sensitive and sometimes seen as a taboo, most females are ashamed to discuss their sexual problems, some may imagine that they are sexually abnormal or that their sexual problems are unique and peculiar to only them.

Reading through this write up would provide answers to all the secret questions you might have ever had as a female, you can look at it like a ‘free online sexual aid’ that could come in handy so that you do not fall victim to herbal sexual products that might damage vital body organs.

A female Sexual problem could be defined as anything that causes an interference with a woman’s satisfaction during the art of sex. When this happens, such a female is said to have a female sexual dysfunction! Before we progress, it is important to explain what a normal sexual response cycle is all about for those that might be in the dark about the whole process.

Normal sexual response cycle

The sexual response for easy understanding could be divided into 4 stages.

  1. Desire stage
  2. Excitement stage
  3. Orgasm stage
  4. Resolution stage.
  5. Desire stage

In this stage, there is an increase in sexual appetite, there may be preceding sexual fantasies. there might be an evident increase in heart rate and flushes on the skin.

The desire phase could be likened to a recently released movie recommended by a friend, and you got the opportunity to watch a trailer of the movie, you were impressed with it and downloaded the full movie and you are ready to savor every moment of the movie!

Arousal /excitement stage

In this stage of sexual response, there is sexual stimulation which might involve the special sense organs (touching, vision, hearing, taste, imagination etc.), There is vaginal secretion which may involve the labia and vulva. The vagina expands (vaginal tumescence), the clitoris may enlarge, nipples may become hardened and erect.

Now let may bring you back to the film I was talking about, remember you had downloaded the movie! You finally had the chance to watch the movie, and when you start, it is all you had ever wanted, every single scene in the movie is mind-blowing.

Orgasm stage

This is the peak of the arousal in the sexual response cycle. Some people refer to it as the climax of sex. In this stage, the muscles surrounding the vagina contracts rhythmically causing a pleasurable sensation and the sexual tension is resolved.

Back to the movie, this phase could be likened to a part of the movie that left you almost in tears, overwhelming or in a very happy mood.

Resolution stage

In the final stage of the sexual cycle, the vagina, clitoris and surrounding areas all return back to their un-aroused state. There is a feeling of relaxation and fulfillment and sleep may occur afterward.

In the movie analysis, the movie simply comes to an end and the cast is displayed. It is important to note that every woman through the different stages at their own pace! A sexual dysfunction may occur if any of the above stages do not occur in a proper sequence! Imagine reaching an orgasm and you cannot go back to the resolution phase!, for the men folks it might be very alarming and embarrassing, however, this is not the discourse for today.

Now that you all understand the sexual response cycle, it is easy to list the problems peculiar to the different stages.

  • Low libido, a reduced sexual attraction, or a decrease in sexual orientation to erotic materials may be seen in the desire stage
  • The disorder peculiar to the excitement stage may range from lack of desire or interest, medical related problems, to hormone imbalance etc.
  • Anorgasmia is a problem peculiar to the orgasmic stage. It is the Persistent delay or absence of orgasm following normal arousal and excitement phase. A woman may have a strong desire for sex, be aroused and enjoy vaginal penetration but they do not go beyond the excitement phase.
  • Dyspareunia is recurrent sexual pain that may be deeply located in the vagina or pelvis as the penis thrusts into the vagina
  • Nymphomania is a woman that never achieves orgasm! There may be a delay in entering the resolution stage during a normal sexual act.

The causes of these sexual dysfunctions could be multifactorial, for better understanding, I would categorize them into

  • Medical causes – Diseases like diabetes, hypertension, cardiac diseases, kidney disease, neurological disease, reproductive tract cancers etc. could affect one’s normal sexual function. Also alcohol intake, drug abuse, hormonal imbalance also has a role to play in sexual dysfunction.
  • Psychological causes – In this category, the causes include work-related stress, anxiety, depression, marital/ relationship strains, sense of guilt, past sexual experiences etc.
  • Social causes – The social causes is always overlooked, these could include peer pressure, poor communication skills between partners, sexual orientation, internal conflict with one’s partner etc.

Management of female sexual dysfunction

Management is usually done by treating the underlying cause (medical, psychological, social etc.) Other treatment strategies include:

  • Education – Having the basic knowledge about the normal female anatomy is very important, also a knowledge about the normal sexual function and the changes affected by aging is very useful. This will help the woman overcome one of the psychological causes – anxiety!
  • Enhancing stimulation – There should be an encouragement of foreplay to enhance sexual stimulation. Erotic materials could be introduced in the art. Changing the sexual routine could also be of help.
  • Distraction techniques – Sometimes, the sexual cycle can be initiated when there is a distraction, these distractions could range from soft music to erotic videos, an erotic fantasy could just be the ‘turn on’!
  • Minimizing pain – women who experience dyspareunia during lovemaking can assume sex positions that will cause less pain, sex lubricants can also help to reduce the pain.

Know when to seek for help! When a sexual dysfunction has been persistent and is on the verge of causing friction in your relationship, this is the best time to seek for help from an experienced medical practitioner! You can call them a sexologist!

Majority of females see sexual intercourse as private and will not disclose their types of practices, who they have sexual intercourse with and where they do so. The few who are bold enough to talk about it face a challenge as health Providers in a busy clinic often lack the time to devote adequate attention to their clients’ sexual problems, and may feel the pressure to meet their work target.

The best form of treatment of a sexual problem is a discussion about it, a problem shared is a problem half solved!.

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