Sexual Problems in Women (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
One type of sexual problem in women is pain during intercourse. Pain often is caused by a physical reason, such as injury or anatomical problems. If examinations and tests confirm that a physical condition is causing pain during intercourse, treatment of that condition may get rid of the pain. In some cases, such as with the medical condition endometriosis, surgery may be recommended.
There is no surgical treatment for sexual problems unless pain is caused by endometriosis or another medical condition.
What To Think About
Certain surgical procedures may cause sexual problems. For example, it is common for a woman who has had her breast or breasts removed (mastectomy) or has had her uterus and ovaries removed (hysterectomy and oophorectomy) to report decreased sexual desire. Sexual therapy may be recommended after surgery to assist you and your partner in finding methods to stimulate sexual arousal and achieve sexual satisfaction.
There are advertised procedures, such as "vaginal rejuvenation" surgeries, that promise to increase sexual pleasure. But such surgeries may not provide any benefit. And they may cause harm. They also may be costly and painful. Talk with your doctor about treatment for a sexual problem. If he or she is not able to help you find answers, ask for a referral to a doctor who is a specialist in this area of medicine.
Studies of alternative medicines for sexual problems are limited. But some of them show possible benefits. These include studies of devices and herbal supplements.
Other Treatment Choices
Vaginal weights can strengthen the pelvic floor and vaginal muscles. They usually come in five sizes. Start with the smallest weight, and work up to the largest over time. Insert a weight into your vagina, then hold it in place while standing upright for 15 minutes. Your muscles will feel the urge to tighten and hold it in. After a few days, the vaginal muscles become strong enough that they no longer feel an urge to hold the weight. This is when you use the next larger weight. When you've used all five weights, keep your muscles toned by using the largest weight for 5 to 7 days in a row each month.
Eros Therapy Device. This is a small battery-operated device used to stimulate engorgement of the clitoris. The Eros Therapy Device was cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for sale in the U.S. in 2000. Using this device is said to increase lubrication, clitoral sensation, help with achieving orgasm, and improving women's sexual satisfaction. Initial studies have shown good results in women reporting sexual problems and also in women recovering from cervical cancer treatment.6, 7
What To Think About
Researchers continue to look for treatments for raising sexual desire, arousal, and satisfaction. Some products, such as different vitamins and herbs, are promoted as natural treatments for sexual problems. But most of these products have not been subject to the same kind of rigorous scientific testing for safety and effectiveness that standard medical treatments must go through before they are approved in the United States. Be sure to talk with your doctor about which therapies might be best for you. If you decide to use an alternative medicine or supplement, follow these precautions.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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