It’s easy to take your sexual health for granted when it’s good: As long as everything’s primed, pumped, and in working order, both your sex life and your relationship with your partner can thrive. But when any part of that equation is missing — whether you don’t have the drive you once did, you can no longer achieve orgasm, or sex has become painful — it’s time to examine the problem.
It’s only natural for your sexual desire, also known as your sex drive or libido, to fluctuate over the years. You may experience a relatively high or stable libido when you’re in a strong, secure relationship where you feel confident about your body and your sexuality, and you may experience low libido following a major life change or illness.
A persistent lack of interest in sex usually includes feeling no interest in any type of sexual activity, including self-stimulation, and lacking any sexual fantasies or thoughts. Low libido can be caused by a variety of factors, including certain medications, sexual problems, or exhaustion.
It’s estimated that 10-15% of all women have never experienced an orgasm, and research suggests that up to half of all sexually active women aren’t satisfied with how often they reach orgasm. Although reaching orgasm can be elusive for many women, never having an orgasm, even when sexually excited, may be a sign of orgasmic dysfunction.
As with low libido, a variety of factors can cause or contribute to orgasmic dysfunction, including:
It may be an intimate problem, but it’s not an uncommon one: Nearly three out of four women experience painful intercourse at some point in their lives. Dyspareunia is the medical term used to describe painful vaginal intercourse that occurs either frequently or all the time. It usually involves feeling genital pain at any point just before, during, or after intercourse.
A range of problems can lead to pain during intercourse, including physical issues, gynecological conditions, and emotional problems.
Emotions or relationship problems that make it hard for you to relax during sex can make intercourse painful, because they interfere with arousal. Medications, including some birth control methods, can also interfere with your sexual response and lead to painful intercourse. The hormonal changes brought on by menopause can cause vaginal dryness and make intercourse less comfortable, as well.
Just as problems with sexual health can be caused by a wide variety of factors, treatment options are equally wide-ranging. For one woman, changing a prescription medication that may interfere with natural lubrication may be all it takes to restore sexual health, while other women may benefit from sexual education, physical therapy, hormone replacement therapy, or vaginal rejuvenation treatments.
Your gynecologist at Women’s Healthcare of Princeton will try to get to the root of your problem so they can offer the right treatment to restore your sexual health.
If you need to consult with a provider about a medical issue or any other concerns, you can fill out the form and we will contact you by the end of the next working day