A sexual problem, or sexual dysfunction, refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual or couple from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual activity.
The sexual response cycle has four phases: excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution.
While research suggests that sexual dysfunction is common (43% of women and 31% of men report some degree of difficulty), it is a topic that many people are hesitant to discuss.
Fortunately, most cases of sexual dysfunction are treatable, so it is important to share your concerns with your partner and doctor.
Symptoms and Treatment of Female Sexual Problems
"I used to enjoy making love with my husband but now it's something I do just to get him off my case. I can't figure out where my sex drive went or how to get it back. "
"Once my partner and I 'get started,' I really enjoy our sex life. The problem is I just don't ever want to get started."
"I always thought my husband and I would be making love until we were 90. But I just turned 39 and my libido is nowhere to be found."
If these sexual issues sound familiar, you're clearly not alone.
Experts say that a lack of interest in making love -- even with partners we adore in many other ways -- is not as unusual as we might think.
"A disappearing sex drive is a common problem -- sometimes in women as young as their 30's -- and while it hasn't reached epidemic proportions yet, I think we're only seeing a small portion of the women who are affected," says Rebecca Amaru, MD, a gynecologist at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.
Indeed, in one global study of sexual problems published recently in the , up to 43% of women expressed a loss of sexual desire, beginning as young as age 40.
Similarly, up to 36% of women who were having sex reported they weren't enjoying it.
Continued in Part 2