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Painful intercourse, also known as dyspareunia, can have physical as well as emotional causes. (Image for representation: Shutterstock)

Women can experience a range of issues that affect their sex lives and intimacy. The most common problems revolve around desire, arousal, and the ability to orgasm. The good news is that many of these issues can be resolved, or at least improved, with some simple lifestyle changes

Lets Talk Sex

Sex may permeate our popular culture, but conversations about it are still associated with stigma and shame in Indian households. As a result, most individuals dealing with sexual health issues or trying to find information about sex often resort to unverified online sources or follow the unscientific advice of their friends. To address the widespread misinformation about sex, News18.com is running this weekly sex column, titled ‘Let’s Talk Sex’. We hope to initiate conversations about sex through this column and address sexual health issues with scientific insight and nuance

In this article, we will break down the four most common sex problems women face, why they happen and how to fix them.

Women can experience a range of issues that affect their sex lives and intimacy. The most common problems revolve around desire, arousal, and the ability to orgasm. Whether it’s difficulty getting turned on, inability to orgasm, pain during sex, low libido, or something else entirely – female sexual dysfunction is way more common than you think. The good news is that many of these issues can be resolved, or at least improved, with some simple lifestyle changes.

Pain During Intercourse: Causes and Solutions

The most common complaint many gynaecologists hear from patients is pain during sex. Painful intercourse, also known as dyspareunia, can have physical as well as emotional causes. There are several ways to eliminate or reduce this discomfort so you can get back to enjoying intimacy with your partner.

  • Lack of lubrication: For many women, the problem comes down to simple anatomy. Your body may not be producing enough natural lubrication to make sex comfortable. The solution is as easy as using an over-the-counter lubricant. Apply it liberally before and during sex. If lubricants don’t help, talk to your doctor about prescription estrogen creams, which can boost moisture.
  • Vaginal infections: Yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis can make sex painful. See your doctor for an accurate diagnosis and treatment, such as antifungal medication for yeast infections or antibiotics for BV. Be sure to use all medication as prescribed and avoid sex until you’ve completed the full course of treatment and symptoms have cleared up.
  • Endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease: For some women, an underlying condition like endometriosis or PID is responsible for discomfort during sex. These require diagnosis and treatment by a physician. Treatment options range from pain medication and physical therapy to laparoscopic surgery. Don’t ignore chronic or severe pain, see your doctor right away for an exam and diagnosis.

Low Sex Drive: Reigniting Your Libido

Loss of libido is a common issue for women and can be caused by many factors like hormonal changes, stress, fatigue or relationship issues. Here are several things you can do to boost your sex drive and get your mojo back.

  • Reduce stress: Chronic stress is a major libido killer. Make time for stress-relieving activities like yoga, meditation, exercise or massage.
  • Get more sleep: Lack of sleep can negatively impact your libido. Aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night to feel well-rested and in the mood.
  • Eat a healthy diet: A balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains provides the energy and nutrients you need for a healthy sex drive. Limit alcohol and avoid sugary or fatty junk food.
  • Exercise regularly: Exercise increases blood flow to your genitals and releases feel-good hormones that boost your libido.

Inability to Orgasm: Tips for Achieving the Big O

Many women struggle to reach orgasm during sex, but the good news is there are several things you can try to increase your chances of climaxing.

  • Focus on foreplay: Take your time to get aroused before any below-the-belt touching happens. Kissing, caressing, and engaging in extended foreplay will increase your arousal and make orgasm more likely.
  • Try different positions: Certain sex positions may be more pleasurable or stimulating for you. Woman on top positions allow you to control the angle, depth, and rhythm of penetration. Doggy style or lying on your stomach with your legs closed can also increase sensation. Experiment to find what feels best for you.
  • Use sex toys: Sex toys like vibrators and dildos can enhance pleasure and intensify arousal. Use a vibrator on your clitoris during sex to increase stimulation. You can also try toys that provide G-spot stimulation.
  • Focus on the clitoris: For most women, clitoral stimulation is required to orgasm. Have your partner use their fingers or a vibrator to rub and caress your clitoris. Start slowly and gently, building up speed and pressure as your arousal increases.

Vaginal Dryness: Making Things Slippery Again

Vaginal dryness is one of the most common sexual issues women face, especially as we get older. But don’t worry, there are several ways to get your groove back and make sex comfortable again.

  • Use lubricant: The easiest solution is to use a water-based lubricant. Apply it generously to your vagina and vulva before any sexual activity. Reapply as needed. Lubricant reduces friction and instantly solves dryness. It’s a quick fix, but for many women, lubricant alone isn’t enough for long-term relief from chronic dryness.
  • Hormone therapy: If you’re in menopause or perimenopause, declining estrogen levels are likely causing your vaginal dryness. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or low-dose vaginal estrogen therapy can help increase moisture and make sex more comfortable again.
  • Try moisturising gels: Like a face cream for your vagina, these gels hydrate and soothe dry, irritated tissue. You apply the gel 2-3 times a week to keep your vagina moisturised on an ongoing basis. It may take up to a month of regular use to experience the full effects. Moisturising gels are very safe but may need to be used long-term to control symptoms.

So ladies, don’t suffer in silence or feel ashamed. The keys to overcoming most female sexual problems are open communication with your partner, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, learning about your body, and seeking advice from medical professionals when needed. Every woman deserves to feel confident and fulfilled sexually, so don’t hesitate to make your sexual well-being a priority.

With a little awareness and effort, you can overcome frustrating bedroom issues. Stay positive and proactive – your sexy, satisfied future self will thank you. Now go out there and take charge of your body and relationship.

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