Reproductive Health

Sexual Problems

There was once a time when the topic of women’s sexuality was considered a taboo subject. Women suffered with their problems in silence, unaware that ...

by Staff

Sexual Problems

There was once a time when the topic of women’s sexuality was considered a taboo subject. Women suffered with their problems in silence, unaware that help was available and that other females were experiencing the same problems they were experiencing.

Now the topic is openly discussed. Women are becoming more and more aware of their sexual health and their sexuality and putting in the effort to learn more if they find their knowledge is lacking.

What is Sexuality?

Sexuality. It’s a word that’s commonly used, but few people are able to define precisely what it is.

The definition isn’t difficult, it’s just broad. Sexuality refers to a variety of psychological experiences and physical activities that fulfill the need for intimacy and closeness, both physically and emotionally.

Sexuality, for both men and women, involves sexual makeup. Sexual makeup is how you relate to others and how you feel about yourself in connection to the physical and emotional aspects of sexual intercourse and other sexual acts.

What is a Sex Problem?

In some ways, a woman’s response to sex is more easily affected than a man by the following:

· Her experiences

· Her emotions

· Her overall feeling of well-being

A sex problem is anything that gets in the way of a woman’s satisfaction with a sexual activity and can be connected to one or all of the above three points. In the medical community a sex problem is often referred to as female sexual dysfunction of FSD.

Female sexual dysfunction can interfere with all or any steps of a woman’s sexual response cycle. Sexually related problems in women aren’t uncommon. A study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that approximately 43 percent of women (and possibly more) between the ages of 18 and 59 experienced a sexually-related problem at one point in their lives.

Understanding the Sexual Response Cycle

As part of diagnosing sexual problems in women, doctors use a sexual response cycle as a guide. The cycle has four stages.

1. Excitement phase

2. Plateau phase

3. Climax

4. Resolution

It’s not necessary to go through every stage for a woman to have a healthy sexuality. It’s also important to note that the rate and frequency that a woman goes through these steps varies and isn’t necessarily an indication that there’s a problem.

Excitement phase. This is the time in a sexual experience where desire begins. Your heartbeat and breathing get faster and your blood circulation increases causing your skin to become flushed and more sensitive.

Plateau phase. Also known as the arousal stage, this is when further physical changes occur in your body after sexual stimulation. The sexual stimulation can be caused by something you see, smell, hear, taste or imagine or by touch. The nipples become hard and erect, the clitoris enlarges and the vagina expands in preparation for the physical act of sexual intercourse. Fluids are secreted within the vagina to provide lubrication and the fluids also moisten the vulva and labia.

Climax. This is the peak of the plateau phase ending in a pleasurable sensation where the muscles surrounding the vagina uncontrollably and rhythmically contract. The rest of the muscles in your body contract and your heart rate will significantly speed up.

Resolution. This is the afterglow and women often feel content and relaxed at this stage. You may even feel sleepy as the clitoris, vagina and surrounding areas return to their pre-excitement phase and your breathing and heart rate return to normal.

Types of Sexual Problems

Different types of sexual problems are connected to different parts of the sexual response cycle. When any stage of the response cycle in interfered with – either due to physical or emotional reasons – overall sexual satisfaction can be impacted causing a woman to no longer enjoy a satisfying sex life.

There are a variety of problems that can impact a woman’s ability to have a satisfying sex life. This section will explore the different types of sexual problems that can make an enjoyable sex life difficult.

Some of the problems are partner related (such as impotence or premature ejaculation) and some are connected directly to the woman’s body and her emotional response to her body (such as sexual addiction, lack of desire or physical problems causing painful sex), and other are connected to a difficult emotional or physical experience like rape.


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