Font Size

Sexual Problems in Women

A sexual problem can be a temporary or a long-term decrease in or lack of sexual satisfaction. The symptoms of sexual problems in women include a decreased level of desire, an inability to become aroused or to have an orgasm, and/or painful intercourse.

The causes of a woman's sexual problem are often interrelated and involve physical and psychological factors. Physical causes may include hormonal imbalances, pain due to injury or anatomical problems, diabetes, and side effects of medication. Psychological causes include stress, marital discord, and previous sexual trauma. In addition, aging causes changes in the vagina, such as stiffening and a decrease in lubrication.

Sexual problems affect up to 40% of women. Women often recognize a sexual problem by noting an absence or change in the level of sexual desire or satisfaction.

An effective treatment plan will address and manage the cause of a sexual problem and then build and strengthen the intimate communications between you and your partner.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerDeborah A. Penava, BA, MD, FRCSC, MPH - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Last RevisedMarch 10, 2010

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

To learn more visit

© 1995-2012 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Medical Dictionary