An often hush-hush and embarrassing topic, sexual dysfunction is a common issue for many women. But what is it, and how does it manifest in women? Does it affect your ability to get pregnant? Here are the answers from our gynecology professionals and physicians.
Do I Have Sexual Dysfunction?
Sexual dysfunction is defined as persistent, recurrent difficulty with sexual response, desire, orgasm, or experiencing pain during sex. Despite what you might think, sexual dysfunction is very common, affecting as many as 30% of men and 40% of women. This condition can have an enormous impact on your physical, emotional, and psychological health, especially for couples trying to have children.
Symptoms of Sexual Dysfunction
There are several symptoms of sexual dysfunction that can happen in women, and many of them are not even physical or have to do with gynecology. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may have sexual dysfunction:
- Inability to achieve orgasm.
- Inadequate vaginal lubrication before and during intercourse.
- Inability to relax the vaginal muscles enough to allow intercourse.
- Lack of interest in or desire for sex.
- Inability to become aroused.
- Pain with intercourse.
- Emotional or psychological stress, especially regarding your relationship with your partner.
- Feelings of depression and anxiety during intercourse or in your everyday life.
- A loss of affection for your partner; tension or disconnectedness.
- Feelings of sexual inadequacy
Sexual Dysfunction and Fertility
Sexual dysfunction can absolutely affect your fertility and ability to get pregnant. Transverse, if you and your partner already struggle with infertility, it can cause sexual dysfunction. It can be easy to downplay the sexual issues that often come with infertility, especially the particularly taxing infertility treatments women undergo.
It’s completely normal and treatable if your sexual dysfunction does not go away on its own and persists for a long time. Once you have a child and the pressure of infertility subsides, your sexual dysfunction can be less persistent. However, sexual difficulties often linger or worsen after treatment ends, or a couple becomes parents. Even couples who never have major sexual problems often find times when they have less sexual desire and satisfaction because of emotional distress or the physical strains of infertility treatments.
Infertility treatments often involve physically intrusive procedures, bringing stress and psychological demands. These can affect a person’s sexual self-image, desire for sex, and sexual performance. For many couples, making love is about intimacy and emotional connection. When you associate your sex life with failure, frustration, and anger, you lose the special connection that sex brings.
The pressure to perform and have (or abstain from) sex due to infertility treatment plans can push couples further apart. Fertility treatments also make sex less spontaneous because so much planning is involved, making sex less enjoyable. As sex becomes focused on baby-making, couples often feel less pleasure.
Sexual Dysfuntion Treatment | Gynecology
Depending on the severity of your sexual dysfunction, you may need to seek medical help to determine the cause of your sexual dysfunction and then treat it. Some women require supplements or hormonal treatments, while others need sex therapy or psychological counseling. Whatever your struggles with infertility or sexual dysfunction, know that you are not alone and that we’re here to help! Give us a call or book your appointment online today.