sexual dysfunction assessment and treatment - happy couple

Sexual Dysfunction Assessment & Treatment

Sexual Dysfunction: More Common Than You Think

You may be surprised to learn that for women, sexual dysfunction or pain during intercourse is a common occurrence, with nearly 75% of all women experiencing some form of discomfort during sex at some point in their lives.

It is important to remember that painful sex and sexual dysfunction is not a figment of your imagination or the negative consequence of something you have done wrong. If your sexual experiences are uncomfortable or painful, it is essential that your doctor ensures that gynecologic or medical conditions are not the cause. By speaking with us about your symptoms and concerns, any issues can be medically addressed, and you may be able to stop a short-term or mild problem from becoming long-term and severe.  We also can help you address concerns with sexual arousal and response, and help you to once again enjoy a sexual relationship with your partner.

Sexual dysfunction is a common problem in women in all stages of life. At Northern Colorado Women’s Wellness, our evaluation begins with a careful history and physical examination. We strive to fully discuss your concerns and provide qualified medical advice to address them. Because our practice is independently owned and operated, we’re able to develop quality relationships with our patients and devote the time and resources needed to fully answer all of your concerns. At Northern Colorado Women’s Wellness, delivering the best medical care is our number one goal.

Frequently asked questions

What are some possible causes for discomfort during intercourse?

At Northern Colorado Women's Wellness, we carefully consider the many factors that can contribute to painful intercourse and sexual dysfunction including:

  • Gynecologic issues such as ovarian cysts or endometriosis
  • Skin disorders such as dermatitis
  • Pain disorders including vulvodynia
  • Perimenopause and menopause can contribute to vaginal dryness
  • Vaginitis which is frequently caused by a yeast or bacterial infection
  • Episiotomy or tears in the perineum during childbirth
  • Hormonal changes
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Relationship issues
  • Illness and medical conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, cancer, and thyroid conditions
  • Depression
  • Medications you or partner may be taking such as oral contraceptive and pain medication

One or several of these factors may impact your ability to have intercourse comfortably.  If you're dissatisfied with your sexual encounters for find them painful, please call our office to make an appointment with one of our doctors so we can assess the situation and treat any underlying issues.

How can I bring up sexual problems at my appointment?

It's not uncommon to feel uncomfortable discussing sex and sexual problems.  Please know that we are here for you and want to help you feel comfortable in your body.  There is no need to feel embarrassed!

If you are having a hard time figuring out how to bring up issues related to sex at your appointment, you could start off with a statement like:

  • “I am having some concerns about my sex life.”
  • “I do not enjoy sex like I used to.”
  • “I am feeling sad lately; my partner is complaining I never want sex.”
  • “Lately, I have been having trouble with intimacy. What can I do?”
  • “I am just not interested in sex. Do you have any advice?”
  • “Getting older has affected my love life. Is there a fix?”

When should I talk about sexual problems?

You will have the opportunity to discuss sexual health at any routine or annual visit, but if your next annual exam is far off, we encourage you not to wait. If you're feeling pain or discomfort during intercourse, or are otherwise dissatisfied with your sexual encounters, please call our office to make an appointment today.

What can I expect at a visit especially for the assessment of sexual dysfunction?

At every visit we will get a height, weight, and blood pressure for your chart.  Then, you will have the opportunity to discuss your situation with one of our female doctors in a private exam room.

Depending upon your symptoms or experience, you may have a physical examination and a pelvic exam. If you have pain during intercourse, your health care professional may try to re-create this pain by touch.  Please note that all exams at Northern Colorado Women's Wellness are always done with continual feedback from you. If something is uncomfortable and needs to be adjusted or stopped, we always respect your wishes.

Depending on your symptoms, you may have a blood test to measure hormone levels. You may be referred to another health care professional for other tests or specialized treatment, or we may prescribe a medication to treat any identified problems.

What treatments exist for sexual dysfunction?

There are three main types of sexual dysfunction that women may experience:

  • lack of desire or interest in sex
  • lack of arousal, the physical response to sexual stimuli
  • in ability to orgasm

Each type of female sexual dysfunction is treated differently, as the underlying cause may vary greatly for each. Importantly, we must note that sexual problems may overlap - you may experience one or several issues at the same time - and as a result treatment of sexual disorders can be complex.

Treatment may include changing existing medications or taking a new medication. If a medical problem is suspected, you may need to have treatment directed at that specific problem, such as V-Lase Vaginal Rejuvenation.  In some cases, we may referr you to a mental health counselor or therapist either individually or together with your spouse or partner.