Female Sexual Problems - Information and Solutions

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Sexual dysfunctions including problems with sexual functioning, uncomfortable or painful intercourse, vaginismus, reaching orgasm, multiple and sequential orgasms and more.

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Sexual Dysfunction : Female Sexual Problems

Women’s problems with sexual functioning are often less highlighted than male problems. Women also have problems which may stop them from fully enjoying intercourse. When both partners are conscious of each other’s emotional and physical feelings, sexual intimacy may be a more pleasurable experience and bring them closer to each other.

  Dispareunia (uncomfortable or painful sexual intercourse)
  Help Needed
  The Female Orgasm
  Multiple and sequential orgasms
  Back to the complete list of Sexual Dysfunction categories





Dispareunia (uncomfortable or painful sexual intercourse)

Dispareunia (uncomfortable or painful sexual intercourse) may be caused by several factors:

  • allergic reactions to contraceptive products, lubricants, or other feminine hygiene products
  • pain deep in the pelvic area during intercourse may be caused by an infection or other medical problem
  • pain due to an unstretched hymen may be experienced during the first few times she has intercourse
  • penetration may cause the infection to flare up
  • vaginal infections or irritations may make penetration painful
  • Vaginismus

If pain during intercourse persistently recurs, see your doctor, family planning clinic or gynecologist.

Insufficient lubrication of the vagina may cause pain and discomfort and is usually caused by:

  • lack of arousal
  • nervousness

Lubrication of the vagina is also important in making sexual intercourse fully pleasurable. A spermicidal or water-based lubricant is the best method of lubrication,especially if you are using condoms. Never use oil-based lubricants as they break down latex.

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The condition of Vaginismus causes strong, involuntary contractions of the vaginal muscles, specifically of the outer third of the vagina. This has been known to make penetration sharply painful and may be an unconscious defense against an uncomfortable sexual situation. Previous unwanted sexual experiences, including rape, may result in vaginismus. In this case see your health care professionals or psychotherapists who may be able to suggest treatments and techniques to help with the problem of painful penetration.

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Help Needed

If you:

  • have deeper more specific sexual problems
  • need to learn how to deal emotionally with sexual issues
  • have problems with addiction to sex, including pornography (find closest Sex Addicts Anonymous support group)

e.g., professional help may be necessary.

Your health professional or family planning clinic will be able to put you in contact with a psychologist dealing with such issues and local support groups and activities available.

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The Female Orgasm

Women do report different sensations with orgasm according to whether they are:

  • being penetrated (small minority of women, around 20% who orgasmed with a penis inside the vagina, describe the experience as being less intense than with masturbation)
  • being masturbated (more pleasurably acute experience, blissful rushing sensation, multiple contractions of the surrounding tissue)

Masters and Johnson reported 'stronger contraction spasms and higher rates of heartbeat during orgasm without intercourse, and especially during masturbation'. Some women stated they had their best orgasms when masturbating alone.

A simultaneous orgasm, when both partners come together during penetration offers the least in terms of sensual awareness. The reason for this is that if both parties are focused on their own experience the sensation of the partner's orgasm is largely lost. For a woman, simultaneous orgasm is often followed by a feeling of disorientation, and a disappointment that lovemaking has come to an end.

Feeling whole and loved and emotionally satisfied are important aspects of a good sexual relationship, but these feelings can be experienced whether orgasm takes place during intercourse or not. What is important is that women should experience regular masturbation orgasms.


  • relieves tension
  • recharges the body
  • revitalizes the mind
  • leaves the woman feeling sparkling and whole
  • represents the peak of sexual fulfillment and can be a powerful expression of love when shared with a partner

Many women are bothered by the idea that there may be two types of orgasm, vaginal and clitoral. Researchers into sexual response have been much concerned with the categorization of the female orgasm since Freud's time as to whether there are really two types of orgasm.

Freud suggested there were two types of orgasm. He said, 'the orgasm experienced through clitoral stimulation was the precursor of a deeper, more satisfying orgasm experienced in the vagina during penetration by the penis'. According to him, the vaginal orgasm was a 'true, mature' sexual response, while the clitoral orgasm was its immature inferior.

Kinsey's view of the female orgasm was that 'there was only one type of orgasm, that it was triggered by clitoral stimulation and involved contractions of all parts of the female body, including the vagina'. He could not distinguish a second type of orgasm that centered solely on the vagina, and he refuted Freud's distinction between 'mature' and 'immature' orgasms. Subsequent clinical evidence has proved conclusively that Kinsey was right.

Sexologists now generally agreed that an orgasm is an orgasm. Researcher Helen Kaplan has come to this conclusion: 'Regardless of how friction is applied to the clitoris, i.e. by the tongue, by the woman's finger or her partner's, by a vibrator, or by coitus (intercourse), female orgasm is probably and now always evoked by clitoral stimulation. However, it is always expressed by circumvaginal muscle discharge.

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Multiple and sequential orgasms

  • multiple orgasms are those that are experienced one directly after another
  • sequential orgasms are those with a gap of a few minutes between each one
  • true multiple orgasm is extremely rare, although many women are capable of sequential orgasm

About 90 per cent of women feel completely satisfied with a single orgasm. In many women the clitoris remains hypersensitive, and further stimulation is uncomfortable and can even prove painful.

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