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. Many women experience problems with sexual function at some point.
Female sexual dysfunction can occur at any stage of life. It can be lifelong or be acquired later in life. It can occur only in certain sexual situations or in all sexual situations. Sexual response involves a complex interplay of physiology, emotions, experiences, beliefs, lifestyle and relationships. Disruption of any component can affect sexual desire, arousal or satisfaction, and treatment often involves more than one approach.
Symptoms will depend on the type or types of female sexual dysfunction you have:
The doctor likely will begin with a physical exam and a thorough evaluation of symptoms. The doctor may perform a pelvic examination to evaluate the health of the reproductive organs and a Pap test to detect changes in the cells of the cervix (to check for cancer or a pre-cancerous condition). He or she may order other diagnostic tests to rule out any medical problems that may be contributing to the dysfunction.
In a study, overall, 4557 patients were included. The prevalence of disorders of sexual function observed was 35% for spontaneously reported problems and 69% for problems identified by physician questioning. Impaired sexual function in depressed patients is also revealed by a high score on the Arizona Sexual Experience Scale (mean overall score of 21.4). Frequency of sexual dysfunction was somewhat higher in patients treated with antidepressants than in untreated patients (71% and 65% respectively). Thus, the prevalence of sexual dysfunction in patients with major depression is high. Antidepressant drugs appears to contribute in such problems, with certain classes of drug better tolerated than others.