Female Sexual Issues
There are a number of sexual issues that affect women*. There can be physical causes of particular issues and of course, the challenges and demands of life can cause or contribute to female sexual issues.
Female sexual issues include:
- Low sexual desire (this is an absence of sexual thoughts and a lack of interest in sexual activity – either alone or with a partner)
- Anorgasmia (inability to achieve orgasm)
- Female genital pain disorders
- Pelvic Floor Hypertonus (Pelvic floor muscles that are too tight, usually causing pain)
- Vaginismus (Vaginal muscles that are too tight causing pain or discomfort and issues with penetration)
- Dyspareunia (Pain experienced before, during, or after intercourse)
- Atrophic vaginitis (Thinning of the vaginal walls, usually due to loss of estrogen)
- Vestibulodynia (Chronic pain in the vestibule area – the opening of the vagina and inner lips of the vulva)
- Interstitial Cystitis/Painful Bladder Syndrome (A chronic condition that causes pressure and pain in the bladder as well as sometimes the pelvic area)
- Endometriosis (Endometriosis is a panful disorder and occurs when endometrial tissue (the tissue that lines the uterus) grows on the ovaries, bowel, and tissues lining the pelvis
- Vulvar Dermatologic Conditions (Skin conditions of the vulva and surrounding skin)
Symptoms & signs of the effects of female sexual issues
- Feelings of low self-esteem or self-worth
- Relationship problems
- Performance anxiety
- Avoidance of sexual activities
When is it time to get help?
Although female genital pain disorders often manifest themselves in physical symptoms, sometimes the root of the issue is psychological. Anything from pain during sex, menstruation, or urination, to muscle spasms may have their root in psychological issues. Additionally, female genital pain disorders may have psychological effects on the sufferer as a secondary symptom of the physical problem, for example, intimacy issues, lowered self-esteem etc.
Basically, if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms because of your sexual issues – help is available. You are not at the mercy of these issues. If your symptoms are interfering with the enjoyment of sexual activities, your daily activities, or your ability to feel happy and content overall, then it’s time to seek help.
Female sexual issues treatment methods
While some of these issues can be treated through physical therapies, psychological interventions will also help to treat female genital pain disorders and other sexual issues specific to females.
Female sexual issues can be treated in several ways, including with couples therapy or individual therapy.
Together with your therapist, you will get to the root of your issues and that will determine the best treatment for your individual situation. Common treatment methods that have worked in this area include:
- Mindfulness therapy is an approach to treatment that focuses on how people’s thoughts, emotions, and beliefs influence their behaviour and how they perceive themselves, others, and the world. The ability to be in the moment, to acknowledge and regulate your emotions helps you to break free from negative thought patterns.
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based approach to treatment that focuses on how people’s thoughts, emotions, and beliefs influence their behaviour and how they perceive themselves.
- Sex therapy is the treatment of sexual dysfunction and also includes working with concerns about sexual feelings and intimacy, less common alternative sexual practices, kink, gender issues, sexual offending issues, or work on optimizing or exploring new experiences. Sex therapy can also include distressing sexual behaviour, sexual abuse, and trauma.
- Solution focused therapy views people as inherently strong and resilient, and capable of creating change and discovering solutions to their everyday problem.
- Person Centered Therapy differs from more traditional therapeutic approaches in the belief that, while the therapist has expertise in many areas, the client is the expert on themselves and their lived experiences. People are essentially trustworthy and have a vast potential for understanding themselves while also being able to ultimately resolve their own problems when guided properly.
What will I get out of treatment with Insight Psychological?
If you are suffering with a female genital pain disorder with a psychological root, or psychological symptoms stemming from a physical issue, Insight Psychological can help. Therapy can help you to uncover the cause or if the cause is medical, can provide support to you (and your partner) for any lasting effects the sexual issue may have caused. You can overcome this, feel better, and have a more satisfying sex life as a result.
Insight has therapists who specialize in gender identity, sexuality, and intimacy. If you are struggling, please contact us and we can help you find a therapist that’s right for you. We have multiple Alberta locations to serve you.
*PLEASE NOTE: We’ve used the term “women” or “female” in relation to people with female sexual organs. We understand that not everyone with these organs will identify as women or female, just as there may be some people having organs of both genders and others with neither who may identify as women or female.