With all the time, effort, and money spent on male sexual dysfunction, you would be forgiven for thinking that female sexual dysfunction didn’t exist. The truth is that women of all ages can be hit with sexual dysfunction. It’s estimated that around 10% of all women in the United States suffer from Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD), making it one of the most common problems in women’s sexual health.
What Causes Female Sexual Dysfunction?
One problem with FSD is that it is different from male sexual dysfunction. There are plenty of different causes and symptoms, which makes it harder to diagnose and track. Here are some of the most common reasons for women’s sexual health issues.
- Pelvic muscle problems, pelvic pain, cysts, and endometriosis
- Genital and pelvic surgeries that caused nerve damage decreased blood flow, or scarring in the genital region
- Health problems such as diabetes, cancer, arthritis, muscle sclerosis, heart disease, and excessive drinking
- Medications for blood pressure, pain, depression, and oral contraceptives.
Emotional and Psychological Causes
- Mental stress, anxiety, depression, prior sexual abuse, fear of pregnancy, and eating disorders
- Relationship issues including abuse, anger, and boredom
- Cultural and religious beliefs about sex
- A drop in estrogen caused by menopause or premature ovarian failure, which causes vaginal dryness and leads to painful intercourse
- A reduction in testosterone, which women need in small amounts, after ovary removal
Female Sexual Dysfunction Treatments
While less attention has been placed on female sexual dysfunction than male sexual dysfunction, women do have some treatment options for dysfunction and other women’s sexual health issues.
The most common treatment for issues with women’s sexual health is estrogen treatments. These treatments come in prescription and non-prescription varieties. Hormone-free non-prescription treatments are also available. These include moisturizers and other creams. Often times, these creams are applied to the vagina a few times each week. Another topical solution is lubricants, which can be applied before intercourse to treat dryness and painful intercourse problems.
In terms of local estrogen treatments, estrogen comes in small doses as a tablet or cream. Estrogen also comes in the form of a vaginal ring. These topical treatments carry fewer risks than hormone therapies.
As well as coming in small topical solutions, broader whole-body estrogen treatments are available. This hormone therapy is taken as a gel, spray, skin patch, or pill. There are some health risks associated with whole-body hormonal therapies because they affect the whole body, as the name implies. These risks include blood clots and stroke. It is rare that women will encounter these side effects, however, and the treatments are considered relatively safe.
Food is the spice of life, and you are what you eat. Eat more healthy fats to give your body the proteins needed to make hormones. Coconut oil, olive oil, and real butter are great choices. The omega-3 from fish is another healthy fatty acid. As well as eating enough (healthy) fats, aim to improve the overall nutrient density of your diet. Eggs, high-quality meats, fruits and vegetables, and fermented foods are all nutrient-dense.
For women, zinc is an essential element for hormone balance. Zinc can be found in beef, dark chocolate, crab, pumpkin seeds, and oysters. As an added benefit, these foods are also aphrodisiacs! Make sure your diet has the vitamins for sexual health you need.
We hear a lot of people ask, “does exercise improve sexual health?” Well, there’s good news on that front, between 20 and 30 minutes of high-intensity exercise up to 30 minutes before sexual intercourse can help with sexual arousal issues in both men and women.
Sexual health experts say that exercise is beneficial because it increases activity in the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for the “fight or flight” response, and it triggers blood flow, boosts heart rate, dilates pupils, and increases blood pressure. The increase in SNS activity from exercise stimulates the same effects as the latter stages of sexual arousal.
Pelvic floor muscles are another part of women’s sexual health. Female pelvic floor muscles can affect arousal, lubrication, desire, and orgasm. If the pelvic floor muscles are overactive, it can cause contraction instead of relaxation and prevent relaxation. This leads to pain issues during intercourse. If the pelvic floor muscles are underactive, however, then they can’t contract. This leads to pelvic organ prolapse and incontinence. These are both factors for female sexual dysfunction. It’s essential to find a balance and exercise your muscles, so they work correctly.
Another benefit of exercise is that it works as a natural mood booster, putting you in the right frame of mind for healthy sexual intercourse.
There are several supplements for women’s sexual health available. One of the most popular is maca root. Maca root has been used as part of traditional medicine for years. The root contains high amounts of iodine, which is excellent for keeping your thyroid healthy, improving sexual health, and libido in turn. Maca also includes a lot of zinc, which is another factor for sexual health.
In terms of vitamins and minerals, you can supplement vitamin D, omega 3, magnesium, and other important minerals, nutrients, and vitamins for sexual health.
Regenerative and Sports Medicine for Women’s Sexual Health
If you are looking for a sex doctor in Los Angeles, then get in touch with Regenerative and Sports Medicine today. We are the women’s hormone specialist Los Angeles you have been looking for. Don’t worry if you are nervous to come in person or not in the area, as we offer telehealth services. Give us a call today to see what we can do for you.
We offer information and advice for women dealing with sexual health issues and can arrange for treatments for you, such as hormone therapies and prescription treatments.