Persistent, recurrent problems with sexual response or desire — that distress you or strain your relationship with your partner — are known medically as female sexual dysfunction.

Many women experience problems with sexual function at some point in their lives. Female sexual dysfunction can occur at all stages of life, and it may be ongoing or happen only once in a while.

You may experience more than one type of female sexual dysfunction. Types include:

  • Low sexual desire. You have diminished libido, or lack of sex drive.
  • Sexual arousal disorder. Your desire for sex might be intact, but you have difficulty or are unable to become aroused or maintain arousal during sexual activity.
  • Orgasmic disorder. You have persistent or recurrent difficulty in achieving orgasm after sufficient sexual arousal and ongoing stimulation.
  • Sexual pain disorder. You have pain associated with sexual stimulation or vaginal contact.

Sexual response involves a complex interaction of physiology, emotions, experiences, beliefs, lifestyle and relationships. Disruption of any of these components can affect sexual drive, arousal or satisfaction. Fortunately, female sexual dysfunction is treatable.

Sep. 25, 2012