According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, (DSM-V) a woman suffers from what psychiatrists define as “female orgasmic disorder” if she experiences:
- a “marked delay in,
- marked infrequency of,
- or absence of orgasm
- or reduced intensity of orgasmic sensations
in 75-100% of situations of sexual intercourse. This must occur for at least six months and be accompanied by clinically significant distress.”
Female sexual dysfunction; I think most women would agree that “symptoms” do not need to be nearly so severe, or so often, to think they have issues in the bedroom. This is particularly true of the women I typically see in my practice, who are in the pre-menopausal or menopausal age range.
In fact, a recent online survey found that”
67% of women reported having experienced at least one “menopause-related” sexual symptom, such as vaginal dryness, decreased desire, or pain during intercourse.
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That may not fit the official definition of sexual dysfunction or disorder according to the DSM-V, but it still is a problem.
Furthermore the survey revealed that 71% of all respondents expected the frequency of sex to diminish as they got older.
Female sexual dysfunction
A women’s ability to enjoy sex, and/or achieve satisfactory orgasms is based on a number of factors.
Physical health, emotional health, relationship issues, even cultural norms and beliefs about sexuality, all come into play for female sexual dysfunction.
But even today’s most sexually liberated woman, cannot avoid the physical changes that can and do affect her sex-life as she grows older.
As a woman ages, your body naturally produces less estrogen. The decreased level of estrogen creates some physical changes that can affect your sexual wellness.
The vaginal walls can become thinner and also a little stiffer, the vaginal opening can change, areas of stimulation can become less sensitive, and most women experience a decrease in vaginal lubrication.
But none of that means there has to be an age limit put on sex.
Female sexual dysfunction may take a woman in her 50s longer to become aroused than when she was in her 20s, or she may lubricate less, that does not mean she can no longer enjoy a healthy and active sex life, she just may need a little help in replacing what the years have taken away.
Help is Available
For many years, Hormone Therapy or HRT, was the standard of treatment for women experiencing the most common symptoms of menopause — hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes, etc.
Today, we have learned a lot more about how to use individualized HRT for women. HRT prescribed in the right doses, continues to be the most effective treatment available for female sexual dysfunction and reducing menopausal symptoms such as night sweats and hot flashes, as well as to relieve many sexual wellness issues such as vaginal dryness, lack of stimulation and painful intercourse –even in non-menopausal women.
We have various methods of delivering bio-identical hormones safely and effectively for women, including: a transdermal, or skin patch, oral medications, or local intra vaginal therapy applied in a cream or spray.
However, HRT may not be appropriate for all women, and for those who are seeking an alternative, we have some remarkable new therapies available, such as:
the O-shot that uses your own blood to improve sexual performance and pleasure.
The O-shot uses the growth factors in Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP, to increase blood flow to the vaginal area, resulting in smoother, heathier, skin on the lips of the vagina, a tighter vaginal opening, increased natural lubrication, improved sexual desire, and an overall more youthful appearance.
When it comes to female sexual dysfunction, it has been a long held belief that there has been a bit of a gender bias on the development of treatments, with the scales tipped heavily in the favor of men.
That may be true on the part of Big Pharma, but in my practice, I do not believe in ignoring the sexual wellness issues of half the population!
Do you think a woman can be sexier as she gets older, or that sex can actually be more satisfying at 50, than at 20? If so why?
Are you an “older woman” who would like a more satisfying sex life by fixing your female sexual dysfunction?
Have you tried any female sexual wellness products? Where you happy with them?
Start the conversation below.