Communication, as we’ve discussed before, can be a challenge in any romantic relationship. Addressing physical needs and limitations can be tough, and both men and women often feel uncomfortable revealing what is going on with their ever-changing bodies.
An open conversation is almost always worth the time and discomfort, but it can be hard for women and their partners to know where to start. What are the most common sexual health issues for women? Why do they happen? And how can they be addressed?
This list of common sexual health issues for women can help guide your conversation and find real solutions for common problems.
1) Pain during sex
According to the 2009 National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, 30% of women between 18 and 54 reported pain during their last sexual encounter, making this one of the most common sexual health issues for women.
Comparatively, only 5% of men reported any pain during sex…so it’s no surprise many women have trouble explaining this issue to male partners!
Let’s break this statistic down a little bit to get a better idea of what is happening.
- About 10% of women suffer from chronic genital pain, which can spawn from many different medical issues such as vulvodynia. If a woman feels pain every time she has sex, a visit to a doctor is a good idea.
- A lack of lubrication can make things uncomfortable and can become a bigger problem for women as they age. Try increasing foreplay and using a water-based lube during sex to ease this issue.
- If the pain is new, consider any recent changes (such as childbirth or menopause) or potential STIs which could affect the reproductive organs.
2) Changes in the body
Even if a woman is not experiencing pain, changes in the body from childbirth, menopause, major illness or a major shift in weight can majorly affect things in the bedroom.
The reasons for this are both physiological and psychological. Giving birth, for example, can loosen the vaginal muscles and affect a woman’s pleasure in bed. It can also cause postpartum depression, fatigue, or a loss of confidence due to physical changes.
Being sensitive to how the woman is feeling, showing interest in her pleasure, and even involving a sex therapist can help couples jump over these hurdles in life.
3) Lack of desire
There is a difference between a shortage of desire for sex and a total disinterest in sex. Many people struggle with their libidos but still want the closeness and pleasure that a physical encounter can bring.
While women experiencing menopause often report a change in libido, the truth is that both women and men at any age can be affected by a change in their sexual desire. A relationship with someone who has a higher sex drive can make these issues even more prominent, and more important to talk about.
How do you talk about it? An environment without immediate pressures is vital; having a conversation about a lack of desire right after an advance is turned down is not a great idea. Often, desire can be improved with changes in relationship behaviour – more romance, for example, or less stress. A sex therapist can help lead the conversation and offer suggestions, or a doctor can get involved if menopause or hormones are the culprit.
Be open to improving your sex life
Whatever sexual health issues women (and men!) face in the bedroom, the most important solution is to look for solutions. Sex is a big part of your life and well-being. There are many people out there ready to help with any issue you might be facing.
For our part, we help men in Toronto, Vancouver, and surrounding area keep their sex lives at “full mast” with innovative treatments and a comprehensive approach to erectile dysfunction. If ED is affecting your love life, book your FREE, confidential consultation online today or call 1-844-500-1177.