At some point in their lives, almost every woman will be left feeling like something’s wrong, or missing. Sexual Dysfunction isn’t as rare as you think, and many women may face this problem during their lives. Instead of panicking when you find yourself in such a situation, arm yourself with knowledge from the get-go. Read up about female sexual dysfunction, and why it is caused.

What Is Female Sexual Dysfunction

Sexual dysfunction is the medical term for when you have persistent and recurring sexual problems. These include problems with sexual response, achieving orgasm, sexual desire and libido, and pain when having sex. These generally cause problems with you and your partner, straining your relationship. 

Sexual dysfunction in women is often used interchangeably with female impotence. Many people believe that being impotent means being unable to conceive. This is not true; infertility is the inability to achieve a sexual pregnancy, and impotence doesn’t entirely stop this from happening. However, impotence certainly makes it much harder to conceive, thereby making it harder to get pregnant. Female impotence is when women experience sexual dysfunction, and this can happen at any stage in life. It can also occur in all sexual situations or be a situational occurrence.

Our sexual response is complex and involves multiple aspects of emotion, psychology, lifestyle, belief systems, and more. Sexual dysfunction in women is certainly treatable, but the treatment involves first understanding the problem and the cause.

sexual dysfunction in women

There isn’t one particular cause of female sexual dysfunction. But acknowledging the issues and reaching out for help can make the situation better.

Causes Of Female Sexual Dysfunction

Health Conditions: Certain health conditions can affect your ability to have sex, leading to sexual dysfunction. These include, but are not limited to, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, bladder problems, kidney failure, and heart disease. Abusing alcohol or severe drug usage can also affect your ability to orgasm.

Medical Treatments: Certain treatments or medications can also lead to female sexual dysfunction. These include certain antihistamines and chemotherapy drugs, medication for blood pressure, and antidepressants.

Hormonal And Gynecological: Menopause is one of the more common and natural causes of a drop in libido. On the other hand, a lack of sexual activity can lead to the vaginal walls thinning and losing elasticity. This leads to painful intercourse (dyspareunia). Pregnancy and breastfeeding are two other natural causes of female sexual dysfunction. The fluctuating hormones that they cause can lead to a drop in sexual activity. 

There are also several gynecological conditions like endometriosis, ovarian cysts, fibroids and vaginismus that can lead to discomfort during sex. Similarly, hormonal imbalances caused by certain conditions can cause female sexual dysfunction.

Psychological And Social Causes: Mental health and trauma are two big causes of sexual dysfunction that a lot of people tend to overlook. Untreated depression and anxiety, as well as long-term stress, are all contributors to sexual dysfunction in women. The stress and anxiety that come with being a new mother can also add to it. 

Finally, another underestimated contributor is the social environment of the woman. High-stress relationships with the people around her, long-standing conflicts with their partner and other social aspects can also lead to female sexual dysfunction.

Symptoms & Diagnosis

If you experience one or more of the following, it may be a sign of female impotency or female sexual dysfunction:

  • Pain during intercourse (dyspareunia)
  • Low or no interest or desire to have sex (hypoactive sexual disorder)
  • Inadequate vaginal lubrication 
  • Inability to become aroused or have an orgasm (anorgasmia)

If you think you suffer from female sexual dysfunction, you need to speak with a gynecologist or a healthcare provider. Diagnosis will likely start with a thorough look at your past health history. Any surgeries, like a hysterectomy, could contribute to it. Your healthcare provider may also take a physical exam, maybe a pelvic floor exam or a pap smear, or some imaging tests. This can rule out any physical problems. 

Additionally, you should also explore any possible psychological issues if your provider doesn’t do that themselves. In this case, you may need to see a sex therapist, either alone or with your partner. Honesty and open communication are essential here. You may also need some relationship counseling.


You’ll need to work with your healthcare provider and possibly your partner to help with your sexual dysfunction. However, treatment can include one or many aspects like;

Counseling: Whether it is with a sex therapist or a relationship therapist, counseling can help. It can assist you with overcoming some of the psychological aspects of female sexual dysfunction. You will also definitely need therapy if you have a history of mental health or sexual abuse.

Hormone Therapy: In some cases, you may need to get on to hormone therapy to help with your libido. These could include topical creams, vaginally administered medication, or oral pills.

Pain Management: Depending on what the cause is, your healthcare provider can help you overcome pain during sex. Pelvic floor therapy, different sexual positions, lubricants, and relaxation techniques are some of the many approaches to pain management.

On your part, there are changes you can make to your daily life that can help tackle female sexual dysfunction. These include:

  • Cutting down or avoiding alcohol and drug usage.
  • Getting regular exercise.
  • Hydrating yourself regularly.
  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Reducing the amount of processed or junk foods you consume.
  • Seeking help at the right time, and communicating openly with your partner about your difficulties.
female sexual dysfunction, lifestyle changes

Along with medical treatment, bringing changes to your lifestyle can also help tackle female sexual dysfunction.


It’s never a nice feeling knowing that there’s something potentially wrong with you, or that something is holding you back from a better sexual experience. But on the more positive side, female sexual dysfunction is something that you can treat, and work around. The important thing is to admit to yourself that you could do with some help, and then to seek that help out from professionals.

FAQs On Female Sexual Dysfunction

What Is Sexual Dysfunction In A Woman?

Sexual dysfunction in a woman is an inability to achieve orgasm or to have sex. This is caused due to a range of reasons that could be emotional, psychological, physical, and social. Female sexual dysfunction can make it very hard for a woman to have sex.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Sexual Dysfunction?

Some of the signs of sexual dysfunction in women are a lack of interest or no desire in sex, the inability to get aroused or to achieve orgasm, and pain during intercourse.

What Causes A Woman Not To Be Sexually Active?

There are several reasons why a woman may stop showing interest in sex or sexual activities. These can be emotional (strained relationship), psychological (stress or mental health), physical (certain types of medication or conditions) and past sexual history (abuse).