A new survey finds that 70% of American women have experienced a sexual health issue, and 22% felt very or extremely concerned about it.
The survey defined a sexual health issue as any one of the following conditions: lack of desire for sexual activity, inability to become sexually aroused, inability to have an orgasm, pain during intercourse, vaginal dryness, or excessive desire for sexual activity.
Women who reported a sexual health issue said it had an effect on their romantic relationships (44%), self-esteem (43%) and mental health (42%). Sexual health issues also caused stress and anxiety in 66% of those surveyed, and affected sleeping habits in 28% and weight in 25%, the researchers found.
Most turn to Internet for advice
When they wanted to get information about sexual health issues, 35% used the Internet and 32% turned to their partner. While many women said they'd be comfortable discussing a sexual health issue with a health-care provider, only 18% actually saw a health-care provider when they had a sexual health issue, the findings showed.
The survey, released Thursday, was commissioned by the National Women's Health Resource Centre (NWHRC) and the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP). The survey was sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc.
"Given the number of women who experience sexual health issues, it is important to provide them with accurate, unbiased information on conditions they may encounter throughout their lifetime," Elizabeth Battaglino Cahill, executive director of the NWHRC, said in a news release from the centre.
Most problems can be solved
"Fortunately, many sexual health issues can be successfully addressed through education, lifestyle changes, counselling and treatment, and we encourage women to talk with their partner and their health-care provider," Cahill said.
"Health-care providers today have more resources than ever to help women understand and maximise their healthy sexuality throughout the age span," noted Dr Beth Jordan, medical director of the ARHP. "It is critical for women to understand the basics of female sexual response and the myriad, and often emotional, factors that impact their sense of sexuality." - (HealthDay News)