Female Sexual Problems
Sexual problems can effect women at any age. The most common are arousal difficulties. Some women find it difficult to get sexually excited, others feel they reach orgasm too slowly or too quickly. Some have difficulty reaching climax at all.
Anxiety is often the primary cause. The way our brains are wired means that anxiety can delay or block our sexual response. Lack of experience and poor technique can also contribute. If you or your partner cannot give or receive the pleasure and satisfaction you want, then you are less likely to be aroused. Feelings of shame, frustration, disappointment and anger with ourselves and our partners may add to our anxiety and make things worse.
Many women also experience painful sex. Arousal difficulties may cause inadequate lubrication in the vagina, leading to friction pain (being rubbed dry) at the clitoris or labia. This may result in painful sex (dyspareunia), and repeated painful sexual experiences can cause vaginismus, an involuntary contraction of the muscles around the vagina. The experience of pain also causes anxiety, and this pain-tension-pain cycle is very distressing for some women.
These problems can be addressed by learning how to manage anxiety, reduce tension and feel more comfortable with becoming aroused. Much of the anxiety we experience in sex comes from not feeling that we can be ourselves and ask for the pleasure we want from our partners. Gaining that confidence and independence is just as important in sex as in relationships.
Both men and women experience sexual problems as a result of the chronic conditions that come with age and the side effects of medication. Many women undergo hormonal changes during and after menopause that reduce lubrication, and can cause painful penetration and low desire. Hysterectomies can also impair sexual function.
Knowing your medical history and getting a check up with your GP is a priority. But for the majority of women, as with most men, sexual problems originate as much in the mind as body.
I am always happy to discuss without obligation how I work and how I might be able to help. You might also find the following pages helpful:
- The New Sex & Couples Therapy
- Sex, Relationships & Growth
- Male Sexual Problems
- Addiction, Fantasy & Kink
Whatever the issue that you want to address, the most important step is to call a therapist to talk about it.