For those affected with Female Orgasmic Disorder, it would affect 75-100% of occasions of sexual activity. It consists of marked delay in, marked infrequency of, or absence of orgasm, markedly decreased intensity of orgasmic sensations, and it causes marked distress or interpersonal difficulty.
Sexual Interest/Arousal disorder would be of at least 6 months duration and have any 3 of these indicators, which may include absent/reduced frequency or intensity of interest in sexual activity, sexual/erotic thought or fantasies, or initiation of sexual activity. The patient is typically unreceptive to a partners attempt to initiate intercourse, notes decreased sexual excitement/pleasure, and may have reduced genital and/or nongenital sensations. It must also cause marked distress or interpersonal difficulty.
Genito-Pevic Pain/Penetration Disorder can be lifelong or acquired (maybe related to one partner and not another, or didn’t use to be a problem with this partner and now it is), and can be mild to severe in nature. Symptoms have persisted for more than 6 months. It involves persistent or recurrent problems with one or more of the following: vaginal penetration during intercourse, marked vulvovaginal (pain outside or inside the vagina) or pelvic pain during intercourse or attempted penetration, marked fear or anxiety about penetration, or muscles of the pelvis tighten just anticipating penetration.
Some sexual concerns are more common at different stages of life; initiation of sexual activity, physical changes related to different types of birth control, postpartum and menopause changes, which can affect you both physically and emotionally. There are changes and adjustments that come with a severe injury or a major disease process such as cancer. These are just a few of the issues that may be causing you concern, and there are many more that we could talk about.
There is now a drug approved for the treatment of female sexual desire disorder, but before that is prescribed for you it is important that you discuss your situation thoroughly with your care provider. Not everything is fixed with a prescription. Sometimes you may need someone that can describe the wide range of normal anatomy to you, sometimes information is the best, sometimes specific suggestions are helpful. There are lots of books and videos that are educational that we can recommend. There is information about personal lubricants, which are ok for use in the vagina, but options some may not be safe for you. You may need to be evaluated for an infection or with an ultrasound to assess pain if that is a part of your concern.
The bottom line is to talk with your GYN provider about your concerns, and together you can develop a plan to help improve your concerns. A healthy sex life is important to your quality of life. Share your concerns and get the help you deserve. Thanks for reading!
Margaret Leverett, WHNP-BC
Idaho Falls, ID 83404