Helping Female Sexual Problems: Vaginismus, Low Sex Drive, Fear of Sex with Psychotherapy, Hypnotherapy & Cognitive Therapy at 1066 Therapy
covering East Sussex, Battle, Hastings, Bexhill, Rye, Heathfield, Hailsham, Eastbourne, Crowborough, Brighton, Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge, Ashford and Kent.
I am frequently consulted by women with all kinds of female sexual problems and dysfunctions. I have helped many women using psychotherapy, hypnotherapy and cognitive therapy. Problems have included vaginismus, low sex drive, inability to orgasm/come, sexual phobia, fear of sex/intimacy and similar.
I have helped women of all ages at my therapy practice just outside of Battle, East Sussex.
Female sexual problems can be one of the most difficult things to seek help for and to talk about. Because of this, many women ‘suffer in silence’ over a long period of time. They can feel quite isolated with their problem. Despite our so-called liberated society there is a still a bit of a ‘taboo’ atmosphere surrounding sexual problems. They can be the subject of many a joke! However, these problems do exist and there’s nothing funny about them. And they are, in fact, surprisingly common in women of all ages.
Common Sexual problems
Information on the most common female sexual problems women consult me for is listed below.
This is the medical name for a condition where the vaginal muscles contract making penetrative sex difficult, painful, or impossible. Vaginismus can be primary, where a woman has never been able to have pain-free sexual intercourse, or secondary. Primary vaginismus is often discovered during teenage years. A girl may be unable to use tampons or have an internal examination. This is because of the pain or, indeed, the fear of pain. Secondary vaginismus is where sex has been possible in the past but has since become painful or impossible. For some women, there is an underlying fear of pregnancy causing or contributing to this problem.
Low Libido/Low Sex Drive ~
This is also known as Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder and is one of the most common sexual problems for women. Our libido or sex drive is basically what determines how often we want sex. This disorder can be characterised as either ‘general’ where a woman has a general lack of sexual desire. Or it can be ‘situational’ where she still has sexual desires, just not for her current partner.
The problem may also be classed as either ‘life-long’, where she has always had a low sexual desire. Or it can be ‘acquired’ where she has previously enjoyed “normal” sex drives but now has a problem. A low libido can be due to boredom in a relationship, or a dis-interest in their current partner. Or perhaps linked with stress, depression, some medications, a slow recovery following an illness Finally, it could be hormonal imbalance e.g. low testosterone levels (yes, women make testosterone) or the perimenopause / menopause.
Anorgasmia/Orgasmic Dysfunction ~
This is the term for when a woman cannot come / achieve orgasm during sexual intercourse or foreplay. As with vaginismus, this problem can be primary or secondary. Primary anorgasmia is where she has never been able to come/have an orgasm. She may find the rest of sex to be exciting and pleasurable despite the fact that she cannot orgasm.
Secondary anorgasmia is where she has previously been able to achieve orgasm but now is unable to do so. The only good news is that, having an orgasm or not, appears to have no influence over our ability to get pregnant. However, the inability to come tends to lead to a lower desire to have sex generally. This can be frustrating, especially if she has experienced orgasm in the past. As with a low libido, some medications, illnesses, and so on can cause anorgasmia.
Fear/Strong Dislike of Sex ~
The fear of sexual intercourse is termed ‘coitophobia’ which is a persistent and abnormal fear of sex. This problem is also known as Sexual Aversion Disorder. This problem can be due to a ‘fear of failure’ in some way during sex. Or some form of ‘performance anxiety’. This fear can lead to further problems such as erectile dysfunction in men and anorgasmia in women. It may also be due to a fear of pain. This is especially when thinking of having sex for the first time, or if there was a previous time when sex was painful.
Women with this problem tend to try to avoid all forms of intimacy. This includes kissing, cuddling etc because of the worry that it might lead to (an expectation of) full sex. Some women may enjoy a ‘normal’ sex life for years and suddenly “out of the blue” they develop a fear or strong dislike of sex for no apparent reason.
There are other female sexual problems including:
- Frigidity, otherwise known as Female Sexual Arousal Disorder. This is when a woman does not get properly aroused during foreplay and sex;
- Dyspareunia where a woman experiences pain during or after sex;
- Female Hyperactive Sexual Desire Disorder which is the opposite to having a low sex drive. This is when a woman almost constantly desires sex.
Causes of psycho-sexual problems
Before attending any therapy for female sexual problems, it is best to have a medical check to ensure there is no physical/organic reason for the problem. If the medical check is clear, the cause is most likely psychological or emotional in nature. This means that it’s a psycho-sexual problem. They are known as psycho-sexual problems in the absence of any organic/physiological causes.
Most, if not all, women who have a sexual problem or dysfunction, also have other problems. Problems such as low confidence or low self-esteem. They may also fear judgement / criticism by others, worrying about what others think of them – these issues are signs of social anxiety. Or perhaps they feel down which only makes matters worse. In some cases there will be a problem in the relationship which will be causing or contributing to the problem. Finally, there are women who have experienced some form of trauma which is causing their problem. The trauma is unresolved, hence the on-going problems.
Most non-physical causes of sexual problems are usually deep-seated and long-standing . Therefore ‘ordinary’ hypnotherapy (usually referred to as Suggestion Therapy or Clinical Hypnosis) will not be effective. Except perhaps for a very short period of time. We will need to work on and resolve the underlying and/or connected issues to improve the sexual problem.
I offer different approaches for this (and every problem). The choice of which one (or more) to take depends on the individual and their circumstances. We usually make the decision together during the initial consultation.
Please browse my site for information on the various therapies / approaches that I practise.
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Call me now on 07722783490 or 01424 772392 to book your free 30 minute initial consultation.