Female Sexual Health Specialist in Atlanta, GA
Sexual health is an important aspect of your general health that is often overlooked. It’s always important to be aware of general safe sex practices and new forms of birth control, but it’s vital for women to reach out to Dr. Sharma if they have any questions or concerns regarding their sexual health. Dr. Sharma is a board-certified urogynecologist who helps women in the Atlanta area maintain and improve their sexual and reproductive health. Call our office in Atlanta at (770) 723-1545 and schedule your appointment today.
What Is Female Sexual Dysfunction?
Female sexual dysfunction is a broad term that encompasses the various problems that keep women from having the sexual response they desire. Some of the medical causes that contribute to female sexual dysfunction include pelvic pain, hormonal changes (often brought on by menopause), neurological problems, medication interactions, and cardiovascular conditions.
There are four classifications of female sexual dysfunction. These include:
- Desire Disorders: Low Desire and avoiding of sexual contact.
- Arousal/Stimulation Disorders: The inability to have or maintain sufficient sexual arousal including lack of genital swelling and lubrication
- Orgasmic Disorders: The absence or delay in orgasm after sufficient sexual arousal and stimulation
- Pain Disorders: Pain in the genital area associated with sexual intercourse (also known as dyspareunia). Spasms of the pelvic floor muscles resulting in painful penetration is another condition (vaginismus)
Safe Sex Practices
There are several key guidelines that you should follow in order to ensure that you are practicing safe sex. These guidelines include:
- Use a condom every time you have sex
- Help to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV
- Protect your mouth during oral sex
- Discuss sexual histories along with a partner before engaging in sexual activity in order to limit the spread of sexual diseases
- Avoid alcohol and/or the use of drugs
- Refrain from douching after sex as this does not protect against STDs and could cause a serious infection
- Receive regular pelvic exams, pap tests, and STD screenings
- Check your body frequently for signs of a sexually transmitted disease such as a sort, blister, rash, or abnormal discharge
- Be aware of your partner’s body as well in order to spot signs that they may have a sexually transmittable disease themselves
- Try to engage in sexual activities that do not involve the exchange of bodily fluids
What Are Common Types of STDs?
There are several different kinds of sexually transmitted diseases that can be passed from one sexual partner to another during oral, anal, or vaginal sex such as:
- Hepatitis B
- Pubic lice
Not all patients with an STD will present symptoms, which is why it is always advised to undergo regular screenings for STDs. Not only will these tests help you to treat an STD that you may have received from a partner, but they will prevent you from continuing to spread the disease to someone else.
Different Types of Birth Control
Of course, the primary purpose of birth control is to prevent unwanted pregnancy, but it also has many other benefits. Birth control is another method that can help to prevent STDs, and can also help to regulate a woman’s hormones so that she experiences lighter and more manageable periods.
There are many different forms of birth control, all with varying levels of effectiveness and permanence. Birth control methods that you will need to use every time you engage in intercourse consist of:
- Condom (male or female)
- Cervical cap
Most often, women will choose a longer lasting solution as their preferred form of birth control, such as:
- Intrauterine Devices (IUD)
- Vaginal Ring
- Shot (Depo-Provera)
For those that are seeking permanent prevention of pregnancy, there is the option of sterilization, otherwise known as a procedure called tubal ligation.
There can be many factors, both physical and physiological, that can cause a woman to have sexual problems.
If you are taking certain medicines, have a disease, or relationship problems, it can affect your sex life. Certain times of women’s lives can also cause disruptions in sexual desire or arousal including after childbirth or menopause, or during stressful times throughout life.
Dyspareunia, or Painful Intercourse
If you experience pain during sex, vaginal dryness, or inflammation of your vagina, you may have a sexual dysfunction problem.
Vaginal dryness is a common symptom of menopause due to changes in hormone levels. The drop in estrogen levels in women going through menopause can lead to vaginal dryness and painful intercourse. While you can make changes in your sex life to help with vaginal dryness, medications or other treatments may be necessary.
When the vaginal walls have thinned and are dry, it can cause your vagina to be irritated and inflamed. This can cause sexual intercourse to be a painful experience, and may cause women to avoid sex. A vaginal infection can sometimes be the cause of inflammation. Be sure to see Dr. Sharma if you think you have an infection.
Inhibited Sexual Desire
Sexual apathy or aversion can be caused by the above physical problems or they could stem from an emotional cause such as:
- Anxiety or depression
- Concerns with self-esteem or physical appearance
- Relationship problems
Take note of the sexual dysfunction problems you’re having and what’s going on in your life while the problem is occurring. Talk with your doctor about treatment and lifestyle changes that can help provide relief from painful intercourse.
Schedule an Appointment with a Female Sexual Health Expert in Atlanta, GA
Still have questions regarding your sexual health? Just ask Dr. Sharma! Whether you wish to seek treatment for a common sexual health condition, or simply want to discuss your different birth control options, we are here for you. Call board-certified urogynecologist Dr. Sharma at (770) 723-1545 to schedule your appointment today!