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Physical Problems

General Description

There are quite a few other physical problems women deal with that can cause sexual dysfunction. In this section, we will discuss several conditions generally associated with women's health.

Infections of the vagina caused by yeast, bacteria, or parasites often result in redness, itching, burning, and an unpleasant discharge.

Vulvitis, an inflammation of the vulva, is accompanied by itching, redness and swelling.

Vulvadynia, or chronic vulvar discomfort, is characterized by burning, stinging, irritation, or rawness of the vulva.

Urinary Tract infections, which are usually caused by bacteria that travel from the anal area to the urethra and bladder, result in intense burning upon urination. Sometimes the irritation causes blood in the urine, which is more frightening than dire, although the infections must be treated immediately.

Cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder, which can be due to an infection or medication, although often the cause is unknown. The symptoms are urinary urgency, frequency and burning.

Intersitial cystitis is a chronic inflammatory condition of the bladder with symptoms similar to, but more intense than, ordinary cystitis. There is an urgent need to urinate with accompanying lower abdominal, vaginal and rectal pain. The disease is often confused with other conditions like urethral syndrome, in which women suffer from irritative bladder symptoms without any discernable cause, although it is sometimes associated with lesions in the bladder.

Pelvic floor prolapse refers to relaxation and loosening of the muscles and connective tissue structures that normally hold the uterus, bladder, urethra, vagina and rectum in their correct anatomic positions. Prolapse can develop as a result of aging, menopause, childbirth, prolonged and /or traumatic labor during childbirth, as well as other factors, including prior pelvic surgery (e.g., hysterectomy) as well as neurologic disorders. Women suffering from prolapse experience urinary frequency, urgency and incontinence problems. If severe, prolapse can cause a feeling of pressure, fullness and pain in the vagina and/or rectum. The most common sexual function complaints include vaginal pain during intercourse, loss of sensation in the vagina, and difficulties with arousal and orgasm.


 

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Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue that normally lines the uterus grows in other areas of the body, causing pain, irregular bleeding and often infertility. The cause is unknown.

Fibroids tumors are benign tumors of muscle and connective tissue that develop within or are attached to the uterine wall. Fibroids can be microscopic, but they can also grow to fill the uterine cavity, causing excessive bleeding and pain.

What Can You Do?

The main solution is often simply treating the medical issue. More often than not, the woman suffering these problems has secondary sexual function complaints. While these may seem to take precedence, unless the medical problems are treated, the sexual ones won't improve. Seek out a specialist who can help you with your specific complaint. Often a simple evaluation and treatment is all that is needed. Occasionally, like in the case of prolapse, more intense treatment is necessary and new operations are available that have a very good prognosis for resolution.

next: Why Diagnosing Sexual Problems Is So Difficult

Last Updated: 05 April 2016
Reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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