Treatment for Women’s Sexual Health

There are many treatment options to help improve women’s sexual health, and it is really worth taking the time to research what is available.

Doctors specialising in sexual health say women often do not realise what treatments are readily available to ease sexual health discomfort or stress and improve relationships.

Always remember sexual fulfilment can vary greatly amongst individual women, and what works for one woman may not be helpful to another.  Each individual needs to find what works to give her a satisfying sex life and help her feel close to her loved one.

Depending on personal situation, successful sexual health treatment can range from:
  • Becoming more attuned to your body and its sexual response and changes in sexuality as you grow older
  • Developing better communication and intimacy with your partner
  • Medical intervention – which could mean anything from a change of medication (to contraceptive pill or anti-depressant for example) to hormone therapy (testosterone or estrogen supplementation)
  • Counselling or sex therapy

Women’s Sexual Needs Change

Our basic biology as well changes in life status means it is totally normal for our sex drive to change at different ages and stages.

Biological anthropologists like Dr Helen Fisher distinguish three basic drives related to the intense drive to love: sexual desire, romantic love, and attachment, each one characterised by different chemical brain activity. The intense feelings associated with falling in love are replaced within a few years by a more stable but lower key level of attachment.

So it’s quite normal to experience changes in sexual attractions even when you are deeply committed to a relationship – to feel you “love “someone without being “in love.”  Add to that hormonal changes related to using contraceptive pills, pregnancy and child birth, menopause and aging and you have many variables influencing sex drive and sexual response.

Understanding how your response levels change – and what turns you on – is part of successfully managing sexual health.

Take your time to learn more about how these changes affect sex drive, and then take the time to share your thoughts and expectations with your partner.
 

Treatments for Low Desire

Low sex drive or low libido is so common amongst women aged 25 to 55 that Sydney sex expert Dr Rosie King describes it as “normal” and says it’s only a problem if it is causing you unhappiness or tension in your relationship because of mismatched desire.

What you can do about low desire:
Make a commitment to making sex part of your life. Physical intimacy builds emotional intimacy for many couples. Set aside time and space to allow it to happen, and spend time doing non-sexual  new recreational activity with your partner.

Learn about libido enhancers that work for women and take action to increase your libido through life style changes – whether it is reducing stress, increasing exercise, or allowing yourself more “pamper” time.

Herbal supplements like Ignite for Women can help boost energy and balance hormonal levels so consider using them.  If you are discouraged because of vaginal dryness use one of the good natural water-based lubricants available like Ignite gel.

Other steps to tackle low desire problems:
  • Change medications that may suppress sex drive – like contraceptive pills or anti-depressants.
  • Try a hormone therapy like estrogen or testosterone supplements. See an integrative doctor who came prescribe bio identical hormone creams


Treatments for PMS Relief

Mild to moderate PMS symptoms can be relieved with life style changes like:
  • A healthy diet rich in complex carbohydrates and fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Regular aerobic exercise for twenty minutes at least three times a week
  • Reducing stress and doing things that you find relaxing
  • Natural supplements:
  • Calcium (1200 mg/day) has been shown to reduce PMS symptoms and is also good for bone health.  
  • Magnesium (360 mg/day) may also help reduce the swelling of PMS.
  • Vitamin B6 (50 mg/day) and evening primrose oil (500 mg three times a day) helps some women
  • Dandelion, borage seed oil, dong quai and black cohosh may all be helpful
 

Treatments for Menstrual Cramps

  • Exercise helps improve the blood flow
  • Avoid coffee - caffeine and PMS are a bad combination
  • Apply warmth to your abdomen – cuddle a hottie or take a hot bath
  • Lie on your side and bring your knees up to your chest – relieves back and muscle pressure
  • If you have vaginal pain with cramps, try using a pad instead of a tampon.
  • Use over-the-counter pain relief (NSAIDs) which lower the level of prostaglandin. (Higher prostaglandin levels increase muscle cramping)
If this do-it-yourself care is not effective, you may want to consult your doctor for stronger pain relief, or to be prescribed oral contraceptives that can make your periods lighter or less frequent.  However be aware they may also lower your libido.
 

Treatment for Menopausal Symptoms

Hormonal changes at menopause – like reduced estrogen and testosterone levels – can reduce sexual desire and lead to a thinning of the vaginal wall and reduced natural lubrication, affecting interest in sex and ability to be aroused.

See a doctor for hormone supplementation or find a vaginal lubricant which will enhance natural lubrication levels.

If you have chronic illness like diabetes or high blood pressure ensure they are well managed to improve how you feel about life and your sexual response.

Vaginal atrophy is experienced by 10 to 40 per cent of post menopausal women and many women do not realise they can seek help for this condition.

Atrophy causes a shift in the acidity of your vagina that can make you more susceptible to infection (a condition called vaginitis).

Atrophy is treatable with estrogen therapy so don’t hesitate to see your doctor for help if you experience burning sensations, incontinence, bleeding after intercourse or general discomfort.
 

Treatments for Female Sexual Dysfunction

Pain during intercourse often is caused by a physical reason, such as vaginal dryness or infection, but there are sometimes psychological reasons as well as physical ones.

To understand the true cause it may require help from a counsellor as well as a doctor.
 
  • Vaginismus (pain at initial penetration) is more common in young inexperienced women and is usually treated with a programme of progressive muscle relaxation combining psychotherapy with thorough examination to ensure there is no vaginal irritation.
  • Pain after menopause is usually treated with liberal amounts of vaginal lubricant, or vaginal estrogen.
  • Pain when there is deep penal thrusting may be from pelvic disease, or from an inability to relax. Once again a combination of physical and psychological treatment is recommended. 
  • Kegel exercises can help strengthen pelvic floor muscles to prevent incontinence and  increase sexual response