Contrary to what you may read in magazines or hear from friends, when it comes to sexual frequency, there is no normal. How often you and your partner have sex is a matter of preference, as long as it works for you both as a couple. However, problems with sexual health that are affecting your wellbeing or your relationship may require professional help.
Low libido can be related to aging, hormonal changes, stress, illness, problems in the relationship or a bad sexual experiences from your past. Sexual dysfunction in females is typically broken down into four categories: desire, arousal, orgasmic or pain.
The most common sexual issue for women is loss of sexual desire. This is marked by a decreased interest in sex, sexual thoughts or fantasies. To enhance desire, focus on resolving problems in your relationship and address sexual issues. Improve intimacy and make time for sex and pleasing one another.
Sexual arousal problems may be linked to stress or relationship issues. They may also be due to medical conditions, legal or illegal drugs, alcohol or smoking. To improve arousal, make sure you are well rested and increase time allowed for foreplay. Begin Kegel exercises to strengthen pelvic floor muscles and use a lubricant, if vaginal dryness is a problem. Talk to your OBGYN about whether medications could play a role and consider lifestyle changes.
Some women have never had an orgasm, while others find their ability to have an orgasm or orgasmic intensity is decreased. Orgasmic changes may be due to age, poor body image or lack of trust in a partner. Sexual shyness and boredom also play a role. Solutions include sexual fantasy and mental imagery, sex toys and increased sexual stimulation.
It’s difficult to enjoy sex when it’s painful. Many women experience sexual pain at some point in their lives. The pain may be short term or it may persist. Severe or frequent pain should be evaluated by a gynecologist. To minimize pain, experiment with different sexual positions, allow time for arousal, use a vaginal lubricant, urinate immediately before sex and soak in a warm bath.
Treatment of sexual problems in women depends on the problem and the cause. Treatment options include adjusting medications, new medications, sex therapy or other therapies. If you have concerns about your sexual health, talk with your gynecologist openly and honestly.