Overcoming female intimacy issues

What are the signs and symptoms of the condition?

There are many different types of sexual dysfunction, including:

  • a lack of interest in sex, known as decreased libido or LSI (lack of sexual interest)
  • the inability to attain or maintain adequate vaginal lubrication and swelling response. This is called female sexual arousal disorder.
  • painful intercourse, known as dyspareunia
  • painful, involuntary contractions of the vaginal muscles, known as vaginismus
  • a delay or absence of orgasm A woman with a decreased libido may:
  • enjoy sex less than she used to
  • avoid having sex
  • have fewer erotic dreams
  • have fewer sexual fantasie

What are the causes and risks of sexual dysfunction?

Sexual dysfunction in women rarely has a one cause. The causes may be both physical and psychological> Physical causes include:

  • diabetes
  • vaginal yeast infections
  • urinary tract infections
  • heart disease
  • neurological disorders, such as stroke
  • pelvic surgery or trauma
  • side effects of drugs, such as antidepressants, blood pressure medications, narcotics, and illicit drugs
  • chronic liver disease
  • chronic kidney disease
  • menopause
  • alcoholism
  • heavy smoking of tobacco or marijuana
  • drug abuse
  • breastfeeding
  • recovery after childbirth

Psychological causes may include:

  • stress from work, family, or relationships
  • chronic anxiety
  • concern regarding sexual dysfunction
  • marital discord
  • religious or cultural beliefs
  • unresolved sexual orientation
  • depression
  • previous traumatic sexual experience, including rape
  • history of incest or sexual abuse

What can be done to prevent the condition?

Since sexual dysfunction in women is often linked to depression or underlying diseases, it may help to see a healthcare professional before it becomes a serious problem. Many of the underlying causes of sexual dysfunction are not preventable, but early treatment may minimize the woman's problems.

How is the condition diagnosed?

A healthcare professional will ask the woman about her medical and social history. Depending on the medical history, the following may be performed:

  • physical exam
  • pelvic exam
  • screening tests for depression
  • complete blood count (CBC)
  • urinalysis
  • a blood test to measure follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
  • a blood test to measure luteinizing hormone (LH)
  • serum estradiol test
  • serum testosterone levels
  • cultures of the vaginal discharge

According to the American Medical Association, 43 percent of women and 52 percent of men (between the ages of 40 and 70) face diminished sexual desire, arousal, or response.

For more information and answers to frequently asked questions about sexual dysfunction go to www.foundationforintimacy.com.

The following is a survey used at The Foundation For Intimacy. Taking this survey should help you to identify the kinds of and severity of your challenges related to sexual intimacy and performance. Taking this will help you to self-evaluate your current situation and to assist you in making the determination as to whether professional help is warranted at this time. While in no way are these tests diagnostic, simply taking them and thoughtfully reviewing your answers may help you decide if you would like to seek professional assistance to improve and optimize your sexual health now.

These questions ask about your sexual feelings and responses during the past four weeks. In answering these questions, the following definitions apply:

  • sexual activity includes intercourse, caressing, foreplay and masturbation
  • sexual intercourse is defined as vaginal penetration of the partner (you entered your partner)
  • sexual stimulation includes situations like foreplay with a partner, looking at erotic pictures, etc.

      1. Over the past 4 weeks, how often did you feel sexual desire or interest?

      Almost always or always
      Most times (more than half the time)
      Sometimes (about half the time)
      A few times (less than half the time)
      Almost never or never

      2. Over the past 4 weeks, how would you rate your level (degree) of sexual desire or interest?

      Very high
      High
      Moderate
      Low
      Very low or none at all

      3. Over the past 4 weeks how often did you feel sexually aroused (?turned on?) during sexual activity or intercourse?

      No sexual activity
      Almost always or always
      Most times (more than half the time)
      Sometimes (about half the time)
      A few times (less than half the time) Almost never or never

      4. Over the past 4 weeks, how would you rate your level of sexual arousal (?turn on?) during sexual activity or intercourse?

      No sexual activity
      Very high
      High
      Moderate
      Low
      Very low or none at all

      5. Over the past 4 weeks, how confident were you about becoming sexually aroused during sexual activity or intercourse?

      No sexual activity
      Very high confidence
      High confidence
      Moderate confidence
      Low confidence
      Very low or no confidence

      6. Over the past 4 weeks, how often have you been satisfied with your arousal (excitement) during sexual activity or intercourse?

      No sexual activity
      Almost always or always
      Most times (more than half the time)
      Sometimes (about half the time)
      A few times (less than half the time)
      Almost never or never

      7. Over the past 4 weeks, how often did you become lubricated (?wet?) during sexual activity or intercourse?

      No sexual activity
      Almost always or always
      Most times (more than half the time)
      Sometimes (about half the time)
      A few times (less than half the time)
      Almost never or never

      8. Over the past 4 weeks, how difficult was it to become lubricated (?wet?) during sexual activity or intercourse?

      No sexual activity
      Extremely difficult or impossible
      Very difficult
      Difficult
      Slightly difficult
      Not difficult

      9. Over the past 4 weeks, how often did you maintain your lubrication (?wetness?) until completion of sexual activity or intercourse?

      No sexual activity
      Almost always or always
      Most times (more than half the time)
      Sometimes (about half the time)
      A few times (less than half the time)
      Almost never or never

      10. Over the past 4 weeks, how difficult was it to maintain your lubrication (?wetness?) until completion of sexual activity or intercourse?

      No sexual activity
      Extremely difficult or impossible
      Very difficult
      Difficult
      Slightly difficult
      Not difficult

      11. Over the past 4 weeks, when you had sexual stimulation or intercourse, how often did you reach orgasm (climax)?

      No sexual activity
      Almost always or always
      Most times (more than half the time)
      Sometimes (about half the time)
      A few times (less than half the time)
      Almost never or never

      12. Over the past 4 weeks, when you had sexual stimulation or intercourse, how difficult was it for you to reach orgasm (climax)?

      No sexual activity
      Extremely difficult or impossible
      Very difficult
      Difficult
      Slightly difficult
      Not difficult

      13. Over the past 4 weeks, how satisfied were you with your ability to reach orgasm (climax) during sexual activity or intercourse?

      No sexual activity
      Very satisfied
      Moderately satisfied
      About equally satisfied and dissatisfied
      Moderately dissatisfied
      Very dissatisfied

      14. Over the past 4 weeks, how satisfied have you been with the amount of emotional closeness during sexual activity between you and your partner?

      No sexual activity
      Very satisfied
      Moderately satisfied
      About equally satisfied and dissatisfied
      Moderately dissatisfied
      Very dissatisfied

      15. Over the past 4 weeks, how satisfied have you been with your sexual relationship with your partner?

      No sexual activity
      Very satisfied
      Moderately satisfied
      About equally satisfied and dissatisfied
      Moderately dissatisfied
      Very dissatisfied

      16. Over the past 4 weeks, how satisfied have you been with your overall sex life?

      No sexual activity
      Very satisfied
      Moderately satisfied
      About equally satisfied and dissatisfied
      Moderately dissatisfied
      Very dissatisfied

      17. Over the past 4 weeks, how often did you experience discomfort or pain during vaginal penetration?

      Did not attempt intercourse
      Almost always or always
      Most times (more than half the time)
      Sometimes (about half the time)
      A few times (less than half the time)
      Almost never or never

      18. Over the past 4 weeks, how often did you experience discomfort or pain following vaginal penetration?

      Did not attempt intercourse
      Almost always or always
      Most times (more than half the time)
      Sometimes (about half the time)
      A few times (less than half the time)
      Almost never or never

      19. Over the past 4 weeks, how would you rate your level (degree) of discomfort or pain during or following vaginal penetration?

      Did not attempt intercourse
      Very high
      High
      Moderate
      Low
      Very low or none at all

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      For more information, visit www.steinmed.com

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      About Daniel S. Stein, M.D., F.A.C.O.G.:
      Dr. Stein's 30 year commitment to health, community service and medical innovations has culminated in the formation of The Stein Medical Institute. Daniel S. Stein, MD, FACOG has dedicated his medical career to creating and implementing precedents in comprehensive healthcare. Dr. Stein has lectured internationally and is a regular guest on a variety of television programs nationwide. He is widely quoted as an authority on women's health, intimacy, longevity and aesthetic medicine in popular magazines such as: Redbook, Men's Health, Glamour and Cosmopolitan. His most recent book publication, Passionate Sex, Discover the Special Power in You, dicusses critical aspects of health and intimacy. The National Consumer Research Council recognized Dr. Stein as one of America's Top Doctors in 2002-2003 in the fields of Sexual Health and Longevity.

      Daniel S. Stein, M.D., F.A.C.O.G. is a nationally recognized specialist in the field of laser surgery. He was a Clinical Associate Professor and a Senior Con-sultant in Laser Surgery at the University of Florida. Moreover, Dr. Stein is a founding member of the American Board of Laser Surgery and widely published in this field. Dr. Stein has also been awarded over 12 international patents for his invention, GyneFlex™ -- the first and only medically designed resistance exerciser that makes Kegel Exercises work to strengthen pelvic floor muscles. GyneFlex is FDA approved to treat urinary incontinence, restore vaginal strength and tightness after childbirth, reverse age related vaginal weakness, and enhance female sexual sensitivity, orgasmic intensity and sexual response.

      Based on years of experience with sun worshiping seasonal Floridians, New Yorkers, and Beverly Hills elite as well, Daniel S. Stein, M.D., F.A.C.O.G. has personally formulated and clinically tested a broad range of effective medical nutriceuticals and pharmacologically compounded age maintenance and beauty preparations to help enhance the distance between chronological and biological age.

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