Female Sexual Dysfunction

Many women experience sexual difficulties at some point in their lives. In medical circles, this is known as female sexual dysfunction. Studies find it is more common than erectile dysfunction in men. A University of Chicago study of 1,700 men and 1,700 women between the ages of 18 and 59 found that 43% of women said they have experienced some degree of sexual dysfunction, compared with just 31% of men. Among the women surveyed, 32% lacked interest in sex and 26% could not experience orgasm.

Further, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 43% of American women between the age of 57 and 85 (about 40 million) experience some degree of low sexual desire. The majority of women with FSD are postmenopausal, experiencing FSD due to hormonal changes following menopause, whether natural or surgical.

Female sexual dysfunction implies persistent or recurrent problems encountered in one or more of the stages of sexual response. The problem isn't considered female sexual dysfunction unless the woman is distressed about it.

Signs and symptoms
Sexual concerns occur in women of all ages but may become more prevalent with aging or surgical menopause.

The problems might be classified as female sexual dysfunction if the woman experiences one or more of the following and she experiences personal distress because of it:

  • Her desire to have sex is low or absent.
  • She can't maintain arousal during sexual activity or she doesn't become aroused despite a desire to have sex.
  • She cannot achieve an orgasm.
  • She has pain during sexual contact.

If a woman is bothered by her sexual concerns, she may want to make an appointment with her doctor for evaluation.