It is the biological, driving force that makes us think about sex and behave sexually. The heart rate, breathing and blood pressure also increase. How do these differ between men and women? The sexual response cycle has been described as a 3-stage process in men and women: However, this may not be so straightforward in women for a number of reasons.
And some women may not experience all the stages for example, they may experience desire and arousal but not orgasm. While many women feel desire when starting a new sexual relationship or after a long separation from a partner, those in long-term relationships may not think about sex very often or feel spontaneous desire for sexual activity. The goal of sexual activity in women may not necessarily be physical satisfaction orgasm , but rather emotional satisfaction a feeling of intimacy and connection with a partner.
Having sex to maintain a relationship, to prevent the partner from being unfaithful, may be another motivation. Psychological factors in the mind may play a major part in female sexual functioning. Examples include relationship issues, self-image, and previous negative sexual experiences.
A lack of sexual desire and a lack of sexual arousal often occur together, and treatment of one often improves the other. For this reason, these conditions are now usually considered together. This is particularly common during or after pregnancy, or at times of stress, and does not usually cause too much of a problem. What are the causes? These include diabetes, hormone deficiencies low oestrogen or testosterone , urinary incontinence, arthritis, nerve problems e. Tamoxifen and combined oral contraceptives.
How are they diagnosed? If your doctor is not confident in diagnosing or treating you, or they think you require more tests, they may refer you to a gynaecologist or other specialist at your local hospital. How are they treated? If vaginal dryness is a problem for you, this may be helped with a vaginal lubricant or moisturiser.
If the effects of a prescription medication are causing the problem, your doctor may be able to reduce the dose or switch the medication. It has to be taken every day and should not be combined with alcohol. It was approved for use in the United States in but has not been approved for use in the UK yet. Women should always see their doctor before using this medication to ensure there are no health or medical concerns contributing to the symptoms If psychological problems are causing or contributing to your problem, they may be best treated with sex therapy see the following section on this.
Depression, however, may need medical treatment. It is important that you see your doctor so they can investigate the cause of your problem and check if you have any health problems that require medical treatment. How might you help yourself? If you are willing to engage in sexual activity, it may allow you to become aroused, which in turn may make you feel desire.
However, this may help you become more knowledgeable about your body, learning where and how you like to be touched. They will probably enjoy being able to please you. Some women find it difficult to concentrate during sex.
If this applies to you, fantasizing about something sexual may excite you and reduce any negative feelings. If you are close to orgasm, alternately tightening and relaxing your pelvic floor muscles may help you get there. What is sex therapy? Together they will identify factors that trigger the problems and design a specific treatment programme to resolve or reduce their impact. Sex therapy is considered highly effective in addressing the main causes and contributing factors of sexual difficulties.
And it helps people to develop healthier attitudes towards sex, improve sexual intimacy, become more confident sexually, and improve communication within the relationship. Sex therapy can also be used in combination with other forms of treatment. Your GP or another health professional on the NHS may be able to refer you for sex therapy depending on area , or you can contact a therapist directly and pay privately.
It is important to make sure that they are qualified and are registered with an appropriate professional body. A lack of sexual desire and a lack of sexual arousal often occur together, and treatment of one often improves the other Where can you get more information? The Sexual Advice Association is here to help. We cannot give individual medical advice, but we can answer your questions on any sexual problems and put you in touch with local specialist practitioners.
We also have a number of factsheets and booklets on sexual problems and related issues for men and women that can be downloaded from our website or requested. Please feel free to email us or phone our Helpline our contact details are at the bottom of this page.
You can also visit the NHS Choices website at www. If you are interested in donating, please click here or contact us for more information details at the bottom of this page. Thinking About Sex Day: You Might Also Like.