Gynaecologist analyses women’s biggest sexual problems
On January 2, 2012 · In Health | 4:10 pm..
Abuja – Unlike men’s main sexual complaint — erectile dysfunction, women’s biggest sexual problem is caused by a combination of mental and physical factors, a doctor has analysed.
Dr Ekpi Philips, a Consultant Gynaecologist, said that common causes for a loss of sexual desire and drive in women could be interpersonal relationship issues, socio-cultural influences and peer pressure.
Others include partner performance problems, lack of emotional satisfaction with the relationship, the birth of a child and becoming a caregiver for a loved one.
“Medical problems such as mental illnesses, depression, or medical conditions such as endometriosis, fibroids, and thyroid disorders impact on a woman’s sexual drive both mentally and physically.
“Age, medications, certain antidepressants, blood pressure lowering drugs, and oral contraceptives can lower sexual drive.’’
Philips said that testosterone could also affect sexual drive in both men and women.
Testosterone is a hormone made by the body and helps to stimulate and maintain sexual function, maintain bone strength, among others.
“Testosterone levels peak in women’s mid-20s and then steadily decline until menopause, and drop dramatically,’’ he said.
Philips noted that lower sexual drive sets in when a woman experiences a significant decrease in interest in sex and it is having an effect on her.
According to him, sexual desire is more than just an issue of low libido or sex drive.
“Sexual drive is the biological component of desire which is reflected as spontaneous sexual interest including sexual thoughts, erotic fantasies, and daydreams.
“ It’s about your body signaling that it wants to be sexual.
“Whether or not there is any intention to act on it, we all have a certain level of drive.”
He explained that a woman carrying financial burdens of the home could lose interest in sex.
“For a growing number of women, declining hormones, job stress, relationship issues, and other problems are taking their toll in the bedroom.
“When a woman go to work and comes back late, think of bills to pay, prepares the children and think of the attitudes of the husband, such woman can never pick interest in sex’’.
Philips also explained that a woman who is ill and probably on medication, could have low sex drive.
He stated that relationships between the husband must be cordial for both parties to enjoy sex.
He added that loss of sexual desire, known in medical terms as hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), is the most common form of sexual dysfunction among women of all ages.
“These are not likely to be cured by merely using a pill’’.
He said that since the loss of sexual desire in women was caused by a combination of factors, it required more than an approach to fix the problem.
He advised that putting the desire back in women’s sex lives would require putting her on sex therapy and relationship counseling.
“Changing medications or altering the dose, addressing underlying medical conditions of the woman and the use of vaginal estrogens, testosterone therapy, could help.’’
According to Philips, many gynaecologists recommend off-label uses of testosterone therapy for women with low sexual desire to restore testosterone to normal levels.
“In postmenopausal women, vaginal dryness may be treated with vaginal estrogen creams although no hormone or drug has been approved to treat sexual problems in women,’’ Philips added