Female Sexual Functioning issues.
Pelvic and Sexual Pain
Generally woman should not feel pain during intercourse. There may be discomfort at times but never pain.
There are a number of physical reasons why a woman may experience pain such as Endometriosis, Vulvodynia, Vesitbultis and Vaginismus.
A great source of information on these issues can be found at the Pelvic Pain Foundation of Australia , EndoActive Australia & NZ and Endometriosis Australia. In these cases where there is a clear medical cause the best outcomes are through pain management, relaxation strategies and readjusting the focus away from the act of penetration to other pleasurable activities.
Only recently has sexual pain experienced by woman become the topic of serious research hence the relatively new diagnoses of vaginismus and vulvodynia.
Vaginismus is the involuntary contraction of the pelvic floor. This can be so severe there is no possibility of penetration. This condition has shown great progress with therapy as well as physiotherapy.
Vulvodynia is a more complex condition which can involve the neurological messages mistaking sensation or even no touch as pain. It is described as a burning pain, sometimes itchy. There are numerous suggestions on how to manage the condition. Therapy can be helpful when the condition is affecting the couple.
Female Orgasmic Disorder
Orgasm is elusive for many woman. As young men learn to relax and control their ejaculation over time, woman too need to train their bodies to receive pleasure, relax and enjoy. This is why masturbation is of great help when we are younger. Today there are a number of strategies which can be utilised including psychotherapy, practical exercises, relaxation exercises, cognitive therapy and mindfulness.
A website which can help you explore your sexual pleasure is OMG Yes! A popular "how to" site which normalises, encourages and familiarises you with sexual pleasure and masturbation.
Desire, Arousal and Aversion disorders
A woman's (believe it or not, a man's as well) desire for sex is not a constant and predictable phenomenon
The difference between desire and arousal is often confused. It is an important starting point for people to understand where their issues lie.
Sexual Aversion/Desire Disorder: A distinct presence of negative sexual thoughts and an absence of sexual thoughts or fantasies. There may be a number of contributing factors here such as stress, fatigue, medications and past sexual trauma. The trick is to understand what your goal is, what are the factors affecting you reaching that goal and what is good enough. Therapy can help with exploring the psychological barriers to your sexual desire.
Sexual arousal Disorder: Female -Inability to attain, or to maintain until completion of sexual activity an adequate lubrication-swelling response of sexual excitement.
Male - Inability to attain or maintain until completion of sexual activity, an adequate erection. (refer to male erectile issues)