What are common sexual complaints? According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition, there are many categories of female sexual complaints. Classification includes disorders in desire
(affecting motivation to engage in sexual activity or thoughts about sexual intimacy), arousal (affecting psychological and physiologic excitation in response to sexual stimulation), orgasm (diminished, delayed, or absent peak intensity of sexual pleasure), and pain (genital or pelvic pain that occurs before, during, or after sexual activity).
Hypoactive sexual desire disorder is the persistent or recurring deficient or absent sexual fantasies and desire for sexual activity that causes marked distress or interpersonal difficulty. (Most commonly, women say,
What are common sexual complaints
“My libido is low” or “My sexual desire is low.” Sexual desire is often called mojo, a term that encompasses more than just sexuality and includes an overall joi de vivre as well.)
Female sexual arousal disorder is the persistent or recurrent inability to attain or to maintain until completion of sexual activity an adequate amount of genital lubrication or a swelling response of sexual excitement. This disorder causes interpersonal difficulty or marked distress.
This disorder has many facets, including subjective arousal disorder (diminished feelings of sexual arousal, excitement, or sexual pleasure; vaginal lubrication does occur), genital arousal disorder (seen in women with nerve damage or estrogen deficiency, where there is minimal vulvar swelling or vaginal lubrication and reduced sexual sensation from caressing the genitals; subjective excitement does occur), and combined arousal disorder (the most common type where both facets of arousal are affected).
Female sexual orgasmic disorders are persistent or recurrent difficulty in, delay in, or absence of attaining orgasm after sufficient sexual stimulation and arousal. These, too, include personal distress or interpersonal difficulty.
Female sexual pain syndromes include dyspareunia, vaginismus, and other pain disorders. Vaginismus is defined as the persistent or recurrent involuntary spasm of the outer third of the vagina that interferes with intercourse. Dyspareunia is a broader term that is often used to describe genital pain associated with interpersonal difficulty. Pain syndromes can
be complicated and complex with respect to etiology and treatment plans.
Sexual disorder may be situational (occurs in one situation) or generalized (occurs in all situations), lifelong or acquired, and may have multifactorial components in its etiology.
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