Sexual Dysfunction -An Often Under
Sexuality is a complex process and behavior. It is coordinated not only by various
systems of our bodies such as the endocrine, nervous, vascular and
others. It is also related to personal experience, social, cultural
beliefs, and changes with age. Sexuality is also much affected by
interpersonal relationships or lack thereof. Each partner brings
different needs and response to the sexual relationship. Any disturbance
in any of these areas can potentially lead to sexual dysfunction.
For centuries, in many old cultures as well as new cultures, the society
tends to focus on the needs and the problems of male sexual dysfunction.
During the last 40 years in the West, feminine rights, liberation and
sexuality have gone through dramatic changes. Coupled with increased
aging and menopause of American female baby boomers, prevalence of
female sexual dysfunction complaints, awareness has surged. The creation
of Viagra was immediately followed by intense pharmaceutical inquiry
into a female version of Viagra. The popular press has now spent much of
their efforts in educating the public about Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD).
These sexual problems are not new. In fact, thousands of years ago,
Taoists in China believed that a healthy sexual life style could lead to
good health and minimize illness. Some Taoists even believe that
cultivating great sexual health and habits can lead to longevity and
immortality. The famous Taoist text, "The Tao of Sex" is one of the
earliest texts in the world addressing issues of sexuality ranging from
specific sexual positions to usage of herbs for sexual dysfunctions.
There are four areas of Female Sexual Dysfunction desire, arousal,
orgasmic, and pain disorders. They frequently overlap and need to be
ascertained properly. Many medical conditions are a source of direct or
indirect sexual problems. Diabetes, incontinence, arthritis,
cardiovascular disease, and mood disorders are just some the conditions
that may disturb normal sexuality. Medications such as antidepressants
and antihypertensives can suppress sexual desire. Gynecologic conditions
can also contribute to sexual difficulties. For example, chronic
recurrent bladder infection can diminish desire. Chronic vaginal or
cervical infections can make sexual intercourse less desirable. Normal
progression through menopause can also exhibit vaginal dryness and
decreased libido. Psychological conditions from past sexual molestation
and rape can create physical problems. Current relationship problems can
also dampen desire and arousal.
Chinese Medicine offers many tools for addressing these issues.
Acupuncture, which has proven neurological and endocrinal effects, can
be used in vaginismus-a condition where the outer vaginal muscle
contracts to prevent entering of any foreign objects. It is also
frequently used in sexual pains especially due to endometriosis, and
chronic bladder infection. Acupuncture can also relax one's mood,
enhance sensuality and arousal. Herbal medicine is frequently used in
combination or alone, especially for hormone regulation. It can also be
used in chronic bladder infections associated with sex. Herbs are
frequently stimulating to the sex drive as well.
The key to good sexual health is to eradicate problems right away when
they arise. Inform your gynecologist and your acupuncturist if you feel
you might suffer from these issues.