Pearls for Treating Sexual Complaints

The treatment of female sexual complaints is complex and involves the combined approach of treating the woman's medical issues as well as assessing and treating her sexual psychological issues. There is no widely accepted paradigm and no set preconceived correct treatment pattern that will help all women. Women are unique in their experience of sexual problems, and thus their treatment plan should be dynamic, unique, and incorporate many facets tailored to individual and personal needs and wants. There is no cookbook for success. Discussed here are a variety of therapeutic options that women suffering from sexual problems may try on their own or with the assistance of sexual medicine specialists. Many interventions have been proven effective in a variety of clinical scenarios. Many have emerging data to support their use. As a person who is affected by changes in sexuality, you may pick and choose some interventions to help effectively treat your sexual complaints.

Patients with sexual complaints may have other underlying medical conditions and illnesses that directly affect their sexual health and sexual response cycles.

How do chronic systemic illnesses affect sexuality?

Patients with sexual complaints may have other underlying medical conditions and illnesses that directly affect their sexual health and sexual response cycles. Evaluation and treatment of chronic illnesses, such as uncontrolled hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and/or an underlying thyroid dysfunction, can be simple to identify and treat. For example, arthritis may affect your mobility and make finding comfortable sexual positions a challenge. Uncontrolled diabetes may influence veins, arteries, and nerves in the genital pelvic region, which may affect blood flow and directly affect excitement (vasocongestion and pelvic engorgement). Underlying genital infections and abnormal discharge resulting from infections like Candida (yeast), bacterial vaginosis, and trichomoniasis should also be assessed and treated if present. Sometimes oral medication is best for treatment of infections because the vaginal tissues are delicate and easily irritated.

It is critical to optimize your overall health and treat medical conditions. General health maintenance should never be ignored. Often, sexual specialists include screening physical examinations to rule out underlying diseases or infections and may perform laboratory blood work such as a complete blood profile, complete lipid profile, glucose screening, and prolactin levels. Estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone as well as other hormonal profiles are typically measured, too. Sometimes if you are suffering pelvic spasms or heightened muscle tone, you may be referred to a special pelvic floor physical therapist who can teach you to perform muscle relaxation exercises in the pelvic floor to help reduce pain and muscle tension. A series of pelvic floor sessions with a specially trained physical therapist may also be helpful if you suffer from vulvodynia or vaginismus. The pelvic floor physical therapy specialist is specifically trained in physical therapy that deals with the pelvic floor muscles, and you should ensure the therapist has adequate training and certification before embarking on a treatment plan with him or her.

In the acute crisis of cancer care, sometimes preexisting medical illnesses can be neglected. So, treating any underlying chronic medical illnesses not only improves your general physical and mental well-being, but may also improve your sexuality. Chronic discomfort or pain can influence your sexual response and limit your interest in and enjoyment of sexual activity. When pain is at low level and fatigue minimal, sexual expression should be encouraged. Techniques such as warm soaks and physical therapy help loosen tense muscles. Guided imagery, meditation, deep-muscle relaxation, and avoidance of exhaustion are options that should be explored. You can consult specifically trained pain management specialists to adjust or reduce opioid regimens, add adjunctive or alternative analgesics, and modify existing dosing schedules, which may lessen fatigue while maintaining sufficient pain relief.

< Prev   CONTENTS   Next >