Treatment options for sexual dysfunction provided by a women’s health doctor in Chicago
While it can be uncomfortable to talk about, sexual dysfunction is a common condition that affects many women in the United States every year. The term “sexual dysfunction” covers a wide array of issues from yeast infections to painful sex that can affect not only your intimate relationship, but also your quality of life. Fortunately, there are effective treatment options for many of these issues that women face. At Partners in Pelvic Health in Chicago, IL, Dr. Sanjay Gandhi provides discreet, compassionate care and takes the time to find the true cause of your issues so that you can get back to feeling like your normal self.
Common sexual dysfunction issues in women
One of the most common sexual dysfunction issues that women face is a lack of sex drive or decreased sexual desire. While natural hormonal changes throughout the life course can contribute to this, such as those that occur during pregnancy and menopause, there can be other underlying factors that are causing a drop in libido.
Other common issues that women face include:
- Yeast infections – also called vaginitis, these occur when there is an overgrowth of fungus in the vagina; fortunately, these are typically easy to treat with anti-fungal agents
- Abnormal vaginal discharge – any change in vaginal discharge, such as a strong odor or discharge that is not white or clear, can indicate an infection such as trichomoniasis, a yeast infection, vaginosis, or a sexually transmitted disease
- Vaginal atrophy – this occurs when the vaginal walls become thinner, dryer, and inflamed and is typically due to hormonal changes during menopause and breastfeeding, or if there is a decline in estrogen
- Vulvar dystrophy – thickened skin in the vulva can develop and cause this condition, which can cause itching, burning, and painful intercourse
- Painful sex – intercourse that is painful can be due to a variety of causes that range from insufficient lubrication to more serious issues such as endometriosis, STDs, infections, and other health conditions
- General pelvic pain – pelvic pain can occur due to several factors such as menstruation or underlying health conditions that require diagnosis
- Vaginal spasms – also called vaginismus, the vagina can spasm involuntarily at inopportune times due to anxiety or other issues
Each one of these issues warrants medical attention. Some of these issues can be symptoms of a larger problem, such as cervical cancer, pelvic inflammatory disease, or an infection.
Treatment options for sexual dysfunction
As discussed above, there are several issues that women face regarding their sexual health, and the underlying cause can vary from something as simple as a yeast overgrowth to more serious, deadly conditions such as cancer and heart disease.
Dr. Gandhi typically starts trying to understand the root cause behind the issue by evaluating your hormone levels and discussing various emotional, physical, and medical factors that may be involved. For example, diabetes, depression, hypertension, peripheral vascular disease, and cardiovascular disease can all lead to sexual problems, so identifying and managing the underlying reason is essential not only for your sexual health, but also your overall health.
The appropriate treatment for you depends on your individual health and contributing factors, but some of the more common treatment options for women’s sexual issues include:
- Hormone therapy such as estrogen or testosterone supplementation if a hormonal imbalance is contributing to your issues; estrogen improves the tone, elasticity, and blood flow in the vagina and while testosterone is often thought of as a male-only hormone, it plays an important role in female sexual health
- Flibanserin is an FDA-approved treatment for women who are pre-menopausal and suffer from a decreased libido
- Talking to a counselor to address any underlying emotional or psychological issues that may be affecting your sexual health, or to learn ways to optimize your intimate times with your partner and enhance your sexual relationship
- Ospemifene is an estrogen receptor modulator that can help minimize painful intercourse for women who suffer from atrophy in the vaginal area
- Lifestyle changes to improve your blood flow, mood, and endurance can all contribute to a healthier sex life; limiting alcohol, exercising more, and eating healthy foods can all have wonderful benefits for not only your intimate partnership but also your overall health
Schedule a consultation today
Whether you have pelvic pain due to an infection or physical causes or are struggling with intimacy due to decreased sexual desire or pain during intercourse, we encourage you to take the first step towards a healthier sexual life by scheduling a consultation with Dr. Sanjay Gandhi. With office locations in Chicago, Park City, Lake Forest, and Woodstock, we are never far from home or work. Call us today at (844) 327-1188 to schedule your consultation.