A common complaint heard by clinicians in primary care who are trusted by their female patients, or are brave enough to ask their female patients, is regarding waning libido or difficulty reaching orgasm. There are several factors that can affect women’s libido (desire) and sexual function (arousal and reaching orgasm).
Hormone imbalance can lead to vaginal dryness (lack of estrogen) or decreased desire (lack of testosterone). The questions are: what can contribute to hormone imbalances, and how do you achieve balance? The answers: test, teach, and treat.
Stress or Nervous System Dysregulation can contribute to disrupted sleep. This will affect cortisol, DHEA, and will also sink testosterone levels.
When women are managing chronic pain or chronic disease, the biological drive to reproduce tanks. Our biology is smart: if stress (physical or emotional) is elevated, the drive to bring a new human into the world takes a back seat (aka: sex drive turns into a distant memory).
Medication/Drug side effects will commonly cause decreased sex drive, but also anorgasmia (inability to reach orgasm). Examples include, but are not limited to: alcohol, cocaine, Prozac, Lexapro (SSRIs), blood pressure medications, antihistamines, and anti-psychotics.
Autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (such as Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis) and poor pelvic tone after vaginal delivery are other physical issues to consider.
At P3, we support our female patients by building excellent foundations. Our observation is, when the system is built upon powerful foundations (Nutrition/Sleep/Stress-Connection/Movement/Detox), many of the previously-mentioned issues will resolve. That said, when we are honing in on sources of stress, and unveil trauma or toxic relationships as a primary obstacle, we lean on our excellent referral sources of family, trauma, and sex therapists.
Interventions to support women in meeting their sexual health goals are limited, especially when compared to those available to men. That said, the physical obstacles are much easier to navigate. The best supportive interventions for improving women’s sexual function include:
At Peak Performance & Prevention, we are always in pursuit of the awesome, not just the average. Humans need love and connection, and a healthy sex life is part of a joyful and vital life. Please let us know how we can help support your pursuit of great sex!
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