The medical community acknowledges that female sexual dysfunction is a common phenomenon.
The condition can develop at any age, but many women report sexual problems at times of hormonal fluctuation; for example: post-pregnancy or during menopause. It can cause mental as well as physical problems to a woman. Some symptoms include pain during sexual contact, low sex drive, and inability to experience an orgasm, maintain arousal during sexual activity or become aroused despite a desire to have sex.
Because a woman's sex drive varies from person to person, diagnosing this condition is a challenge. Plus the factors may range from being psychological to biological. And if the lack of desire becomes distressing in any way or interferes with her overall quality of life, she may have HSDD (Hypoactive sexual desire disorder).
"Women should not be expected to accept a distressing loss of sexual desire any more than they should be expected to simply accept arthritis, acid reflux, or any other condition often associated with aging," says Sheryl A. Kingsberg, PhD, a clinical psychologist and Professor in the Department of Reproductive Biology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio.
Another issue is that the problem is less known as compared to that in men - erectile dysfunction, and hence, there's no medication available for it. Added to that is the fact that women are shy to speak up about it or understand that they have a treatable issue.
"Women should speak to their partners about the problem and (they may consider) seeing a professional for guidance; this professional may be a counselor, a sex therapist, a physician or nurse practitioner, or some other trusted person," suggests Kingsberg.
"A number of other very exciting new approaches to the treatment of low sexual desire in women are under development," adds Kingsberg, "and may be available soon."