Female sexual dysfunction is a condition which can occur on the onset or along a woman’s journey of life. According to Wikipedia, female sexual arousal disorder, also known as Candace syndrome, or female sexual interest/arousal disorder, is a condition characterised by a persistent or recurrent inability to attain sexual arousal and maintain arousal until the completion of sexual activity.
Female sexual arousal disorder involves persistent and recurrent challenges with sexual desire, arousal and response. Sexual response involves various scenarios, a correlation with the physical and emotional wellness. Other factors involve poor self-esteem/self-image, perceptions, culture, values, traditions, beliefs, experiences and mostly expectations.
When expectations are not met, or any of the above factors are in play, this affects sexual desire, arousal, performance and eventually satisfaction. This scenario can cause the individual, as well as their partner, a great deal of distress.
Generally, the victims suffer in silence choosing to live in denial as a result of fear, shame and guilt. This state of affairs is unfortunate and if unattended, results to severe emotional distress and eventually costs the victims their relationship.
If you have experienced this challenge you are not alone. Many struggle in silence and ignorance, having no knowledge of what is happening to them.
Joyce had this to say: “I find sex such a chore. I have experienced a lot of pain and several years later, it has not gotten any better. I am traumatised at the thought and do not know what to do”.
Persistent and recurrent problems with sexual response, desire, orgasm can cause a strain on a relationship.
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Signs of sexual arousal disorder
• Low sexual desire
• Sexual pain disorder
• Orgasmic disorder
What are the causes?
Sexual challenges generally surface due to various factors. It could be hormonal. It could occur after childbirth or during menopause. There is also low levels of oestrogen during and after menopause. Decreased oestrogen results in decreased blood flow to the pelvic area and consequently low sexual desires.
It could also be physiological as a result of serious illness, medication, heart and blood vessel disease, diabetes, stress due to neurological conditions, depression or anxiety and a history of sexual abuse. Social challenges as a result of unresolved conflicts can also have a negative impact on sexual desire. Culture, beliefs, traditions, religious issues, particularly religious guilt, have a major impact on sex. Body image also contributes greatly to self-image and perception of self.
According to research studies, one can improve their sexual satisfaction by:
Increased awareness and self-acceptance is the key to freedom and sexual satisfaction. Be mindful of yourself and your partner and focus on the positive. Do not be too hard on yourself. Improve your ego by daily affirmations of self and communicate with honesty and sensitivity to your partner who will be crucial in helping you through the process of adjustment.
Exercise is good for you. It helps increase blood circulation not to mention the endorphins, good feel hormones that boost your confidence and self-esteem. The benefits of exercising cannot be over emphasised. It is associated with general well-being of self.
Practice healthy lifestyle habits; avoid excessive alcohol, drugs, smoking, for they cause decreased sexual arousal, response and satisfaction. Life is good, find ways of being adventurous and creative. Find ways to relax and in the midst of a stressful life, find ways to refresh, rejuvenate and revive your body, mind and soul. Being relaxed can enhance your sexual experience. Seek God, who is the giver of every good and perfect gift.
• Seek medical attention
While there are various home remedies for sexual dysfunction, seek medical attention in order to obtain the right diagnoses and treat the correct condition.
The writer is a relationship coach and author of Marriage Built to Last. You can reach her on; www.jenniekarina.co.ke