5 misconceptions about female sexual dysfunction

When I say the term ‘sexual dysfunction’, what do you associate it with? A flaccid penis… Viagra… a guy sat on the end of a bedroom, head in his hands… maybe an older gent…possibly some sort of a diagram. What do all these have in common?

    Guryanov Andrey / shutterstock.com

They’re all associated with the male’s inability to have sex, foreplay and all the juicy stuff in-between. There’s rarely a mention of the female’s point of view, let alone if the senorita has sexual issues herself.

The truth is we associate many sexual factors towards men without much thought; they are stereotypically the fierier of the sexes, they have all that testosterone flying around and they’re usually the ones caught out cat-calling and generally ogling. In reality, sexual dysfunction that affects women is actually a highly common condition. You would mistaken in thinking they have the better orgasm…

Actually, it is us females that experience orgasms reportedly stronger than our testosterone-filled counterparts, and multiple ones at that (sorry fellas) and as many as 1 in 3 of us have trouble reaching our mind-boggling goal at all (sorry ladies). We do have a lot going on down there.

So, bearing this and all sorts of other factors in mind, it is to be expected that female sexual dysfunction has a fair few myths and misconceptions knocking about that need to be well and truly debunked:

Female sexual dysfunction is just a myth

Straight to the Daddy of all myth countdowns – does the condition even exist at all? Let’s nip this in the bud immediately and categorically say “YES”, of course the condition exist. Around 50% of women will experience it at some point in their lives, mainly affecting those going through the menopause or postmenopausal women, similar to the condition for the males. Just because Viagra, Cialis or any of the other treatments don’t work as effectively on you as they do the males doesn’t mean the condition does not exist. The difference lies in the medication and self-help treatments for both sexes…

“According to the Sexual Advice Association, sexual problems affect around 50% of women and become more common as women get older.Dysfunction can include loss of desire, loss of arousal, problems with orgasm, and pain during sex.To identify the reasons behind sexual dysfunction, both physical and psychological factors have to be considered, including a woman's relationship with her partner.”

Quote: article about female sexual problems from the NHS

I can use Viagra as well

As mentioned, Viagra and any other medications used to help men with erectile dysfunction will not have the same effect for women. Whilst the success rate of ED treatments is extremely well documented - Viagra is used by 35 million men around the world for very good reason – for women, the jury on the effect of these treatments is still out. There have been reports of Viagra having some recreational qualities for women, but in terms of treating sexual dysfunction, it is not the best treatment and isn’t advised.

“More than 35 million men worldwide use Viagra to treat erectile dysfunction effectively for a better sex life … Viagra is the brand name given to the medication sildenafil citrate. It has helped millions of men with erectile dysfunction (ED) achieve and maintain an erection when they are sexually aroused.”

Quote: information about the medication Viagra from HealthExpress

There are no treatments available at all

Whilst erectile dysfunction, and even premature ejaculation, have a range of treatments available with the prescription medication all clinically proven to work, treatment for the females is slightly under the radar. However this doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

Like men, one option is counselling and therapy, whether this is just you or with your partner. Communication is key so simply just talking to your other half may also be a huge step in the right direction. Another option is looking at your lifestyle; smoking, dietary habits and lack of exercise could all be contributing to the condition, not to mention excessive alcohol consumption. Psychological factors could also have an influence; if you’re stressed, anxious or depressed. Maybe investing in some new toys and a decent dollop of lubricant could help? In terms of medical treatment, talking to your GP will reveal options you didn’t think existed. Some include:

- Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) for menopausal women, but also if you happen to have a lower level of testosterone.

- Existing medication might be the problem and other options are usually available. Treatment for diabetes in particular could be making sexual dysfunction worse.

You may have seen the progress of a female orientated Viagra in the news recently from BBC health; the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have just approved the first drug targeted towards the low sexual desire in women. It contains the active chemical ingredient flibanserin and will be sold under the brand name Addyi. Whilst it is still early days, this is a huge step that could potential solve the problem for millions of women.

Source: video from BBC News

Women aren’t as sexually active as men

This is a very old fashioned view on sex that really needs to do one. Regardless of the stereotypes, both sexes have been proven to be happy with just one sexual partner at a time going against the misconception that guys like to play the field. In addition, yes men DO think about sex more often, however men also tend to have more physical needs in general, whether this is the next dinner or whether they’re tired.

If he ejaculates and I don’t, I must be the problem

Many put their sexual “failures” down to the speed in which they orgasm, especially with men. However the average time for men to ejaculate is around 5-10 minutes with many men saying it can take as soon as 2 minutes. If you happen to struggle having an orgasm at all, having a male setting off his troops after 5 minutes can make your “problem” seem much worse. In matter of fact, it takes the average sista 12 minutes to orgasm, with this varying massively between individuals; we’re just so delightfully complicated like that. What’s more, only 20-25% can orgasm from penetration alone. The problem isn’t always you, and if you do have sexual dysfunction, you’re most certainly not alone.

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