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Female Sexual Dysfunction

If you are experiencing challenges with sexual arousal, intercourse or orgasms, you are not alone. Female sexual dysfunction is common and treatable. At Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, you’ll find trusted specialists who put you at ease and deliver the care you need.

What is female sexual dysfunction?

Female sexual dysfunction includes physical and mental symptoms surrounding intimacy with others. There may be:

  • Anorgasmia, difficulty achieving orgasm or having far less intense orgasms than usual
  • Low libido, low sexual drive
  • Painful intercourse (dyspareunia), pelvic discomfort that happens during or after sex
  • Psychological issues, such as depression and anxiety or emotional distress related to sex
  • Vaginal atrophy, physical changes to the vagina, such as tissue thinning and inflammation
  • Vaginal dryness, lack of natural moisture 
  • Vaginismus, vaginal muscle spasms that occur with penetration

Female sexual health at Virginia Mason Franciscan Health: Why choose us?

There’s no reason to let sexual dysfunction hold you and your relationship back. Our providers are easy to talk to and value what you have to say. Together we get to the source of your concerns and determine which services can help you.

Highlights of our program include: 

  • Compassion: Our team includes experienced gynecologists, nurse midwives and nurse practitioners. They are open-minded and have a genuine concern for your sexual health and well-being. You can speak freely with us about your experiences and treatment goals without fear of judgment.
  • Convenience: You may have the option of starting your care journey with a virtual visit. Our secure online platform enables you to discuss your symptoms with one of our providers from the comfort of home. We then discuss next steps, which may include an in-office exam, lab tests or treatment recommendations.
  • Coordinated care: Female sexual dysfunction sometimes requires treatment from other providers, such as behavioral health specialists and pelvic floor therapists. Virginia Mason Franciscan Health is home to any specialty you may need. We coordinate referrals whenever necessary so that you have a seamless care experience.

Female sexual dysfunction care: What to expect

We start by getting to know you, including your lifestyle and health history. Our providers will ask whether you’ve had previous pelvic surgeries and what medications you are taking. Our comprehensive approach to female sexual health considers all potential causes for sexual concerns, including gynecologic and other medical problems. 

We may perform a pelvic exam to check for gynecologic issues, such as endometriosis or uterine fibroids. Lab studies may help us detect hormone imbalances or infections. Our providers may also recommend imaging studies to check for unexpected growths like tumors or cysts.

Treatments for female sexual dysfunction

Our comprehensive approach to assessments enables us to develop a personalized care plan. We start by explaining the diagnosis and what causes it. We then discuss treatment options and develop a plan that works for you. 

Treatments for female sexual dysfunction may include: 

  • Education: There may be simple steps you can take to improve symptoms. These may involve using touch and verbal stimulation to improve sexual response.
  • Lifestyle changes: We may recommend limiting alcohol, increasing exercise, quitting smoking and establishing a consistent sleep routine.
  • Female Viagra: There are two approved drugs that boost sexual desire in females. One is a pill, and the other is an injectable.
  • Hormone replacement therapy: This treatment regulates hormone levels like estrogen that decrease with age.
  • Counseling: If you experience mental health issues like anxiety and depression, talking with a therapist may ease their impact. Therapists can also help you work through emotional barriers and relationship issues.
  • Pelvic floor physical therapy: We guide you through gentle exercises to strengthen muscles, providing you relief from painful sex.

Schedule an appointment

Find out more about our gynecology services in the Puget Sound area or make an appointment.