Unfortunately, society as a whole, and medicine in particular, often overlook the afflictions of women.

Take for example, Heart Disease…..THE LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH IN WOMEN!!!!

However, you would never know this from the commercials, medications, news reports and even our healthcare industry.  And as a result, many women go undiagnosed and die as a result.

Not to mention, that the way in which medications are dosed, for all human beings, is based on the 70 Kilogram MALE.


Sexual dysfunction, and its treatment, has also been focused on the Adult Male, even though 45% of Women suffer from some type of Sexual Dysfunction.




So What Is Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD)??

‘Persistent, recurrent problems with sexual response, desire, orgasm or pain — that distress you or strain your relationship with your partner — are known medically as female sexual dysfunction.’     www.mayoclinic.org

In short…….Emotional or physical issues that diminish your ability or desire for sex.


*****Can Occur at Any Age or Stage of Life******

*****Can Occur With All Sexual Activity or Only Certain Sexual Circumstances*******


How Does This Differ From ‘Female Sexual Arousal Disorder‘???

Also known as ‘Candace Syndrome

Persistent or Recurrent inability to attain sexual arousal or to maintain arousal until completion of the sexual act.


So What Causes Sexual Dysfunction In Women??

Image Courtesy of A.D.A.M.


Can be one thing or a variety of Causes.


Everyone’s treatment is different

because it is based on your specific history, concerns and needs


Common Causes of Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD):

  1. Anxiety or Depression……….Marital concerns…..History of Rape or Sexual Abuse…..Financial Concerns…….Relationship Issues

2. Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD)………Lack of sexual fantasies or desire for sexual activity

3. Sexual Arousal Issues………….Candace Syndrome

4. Sexual Aversion Disorder…….avoidance of all or most genital sexual contact with a partner.

5. Orgasmic Disorder……………..inability to climax after adequate arousal

6. Sexual Pain (Dyspareunia and Vaginismus)

         Dyspareunia…….when sexual intercourse is painful secondary to medical or        psychological issues

        Vaginismus………..when a woman’s pelvic floor muscles contract involuntarily,             making it difficult or painful to have sex


7. Pelvic Surgery……Hysterectomy, Cystectomy (removal of bladder), colorectal surgery (removal or all or part of the colon or rectum), vaginal surgery and sling procedures (treat urinary incontinence)


8. Menopause……….loss of estrogen and testosterone can affect a woman’s body and sexual drive……..lower estrogen can affect blood flow to the vagina, leading to dryness and sexual discomfort.


9.  Other Major Issues…….Bladder Control……Sleep Disturbances…..Medications



Schematic Courtesy of www.diabetesindia.com


Courtesy of Feminine-Fragrance.blogspot.com



Courtesy of www.FacingCancer.ca


Courtesy of www.youtube.com




So What Can We Do???

  1. Medical Evaluation To Determine The Cause
  2. Figure Out A Treatment Plan That Addresses The Cause/s
  3. Involve Your Partner, if you and your provider feel that it would help
  4. Follow Up With Your Provider To Determine Progress and Adjust Therapy, as needed.
  5. Over The Counter Options for Vaginal Dryness…..Water-Soluble Lubricants, such as, Astroglide and K-Y Jelly…….Do Not Use Non-Water Soluble Lubricants, such as Vaseline because they can weaken latex (condoms) and also cause bacterial overgrowth that may lead to infection (particularly in people who are IMMUNOSUPPRESSED (weakened immune system), such as chemotherapy.
  6. Vaginal Moisturizers
  7. Vaginal Estrogen, if recommended by your Physician



******Always obtain a medical evaluation prior to starting any new treatment******



There is no way to address ALL  of the complex issues involved in Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD), but hopefully this sheds a light and helps guide you, in starting the journey to address any and all concerns you have regarding your own health and well being.


As Always,

Take care. Be well. Be safe.

Lisa Whitty Bradley, M.D., FACS

CEO & Founder

Chicks With MDs


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