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Female Sexual Problems (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care

Not all sexual problems require medical attention. Many people have temporary sexual problems, usually due to medical problems, to anxiety, or to stress in another area of life. If you are distressed by the problem or you are afraid your relationship is threatened, don't be afraid or embarrassed to seek outside help. If your health care professional is unable to help you beyond ruling out physical problems, a mental health counselor should be able to help or point you in the right direction.

Any sexual problem that persists for more than a few weeks is worth a visit to your doctor. He or she can rule out medical or medication causes of the problem and can offer advice on solving other types of problems. He or she can help you sort out exactly what the problem is if you aren't sure. He or she can refer you to other specialists if necessary: a psychotherapist, a marriage counselor, or a sex therapist.

Certain problems require attention right away.

  • If intercourse suddenly becomes painful when it wasn't before, for example, you may have an infection or other medical condition that requires prompt attention.
  • If you have reason to believe you have a sexually transmitted disease, you and your partner both need to be treated right away, as do any other sexual partners either of you may have.
  • Any unusual reaction to sexual activity, such as headache, brief chest pain, or pain elsewhere in the body, also warrants a visit to your health care professional.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/22/2013

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