Australian Young women experience Sex related personal distress. And 1 in 5 has at least one female Sex dysfunction (FSD) according to a new study.
The study, conducted by a team at Monash University and published in Fertility and Sterility, examined at women between the ages of 18 and 39.
Of nearly 7,000 women, 50.2 per cent experienced some form for personal sexual distress. This included feeling stressed, guilty, embarrassed or unhappy about their sex life.
At least 20.6 percent of the population had at least one FSD. And 29.6 percent of women had no dysfunctional distress.
Low sexual self-image was the most common FSD, affecting 11 percent of participants. Arousal, desire, orgasm and reaction dysfunction impacted 9 percent, 8 percent, 7.9 percent, and 3.4 percent, respectively.
Of the women, 20% used psychotropic drugs such as antidepressants. The use of a combined oral contraceptive pill was not associated with any sexual dysfunction.
Sheryl A. Kingsberg, PhD, Professor of Reproductive Biology and psychiatry at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, told Healthline that low sexual self-image is not a sexual dysfunction.
Sexual dysfunctions include hypoactive sexual desire disorder, arousal disorder, orgasmic disorder, and discomfort with sexual activity.
Low sexual self-image can result in any or all of these dysfunctions, Kingsberg said.
Kingsberg said: “Feeling self-conscious, insecure, or badly about one’s appearance certainly can interfere with sexual activity.”
Negative self-talk tends to distract from desire and prevents someone from being present in experience. It’s hard to focus on pleasure, sensation and desire if your mind is otherwise focused on negative self-assessment, she said.
“It is not that women are more dissatisfied nowadays, but it’s more likely that the prevalence of Sex issues is the same as they have been but the media and social media have now publicized it,” Kingsberg stated. She was not associated with the research.
People have always been concerned about their appearance, but Susan Davis, PhD, professor of women’s health at Monash University and senior author,
hopes that people will consider how social media and the availability of mainstream porn could have increased pressure on young women in terms of their sexual appearance.
Women’s sexual dissatisfaction remains constant their disappointment with healthcare providers addressing their issues has risen… as it should have been, Kingsberg said.
Davis stated that researchers already know that there is a bi-directional correlation between sexual relationship and quality of relationship.
She told Healthline: “We have shown in a study of young women that women with dissatisfied Sex lives have lower quality of life,” she said, “So sexual well-being matters a lot,” adding that sexual issues can be due to other personal problems or an indicator of other problems.
“This is a wake-up call to the community and shows how important it is for health professionals to be open and well prepared to discuss young women’s sexual health concerns,” Davis said in a statement.
Approximately one-third of women were single, 47% had a normal body mass index, and almost 70% had been sexually active within 30 days of completion of the questionnaire.
Women who consistently concentrated on their appearance and believed that appearance determined their level of physical self-esteem reported being less sexually assertive and more self-conscious when they were intimate. They experienced lower sexual satisfaction.
Davis said more research needs to be done to figure out why so many young women are distressed about sexuality.
“This is a complex issue that we have uncovered that requires a new research that we hope others will undertake she said to Healthline.
Kingsberg said: Experiencing distress or dysfunction? Talk to your gynecologist for an assessment, treatment, or referral to seek out a specialist in sexual medicine,
she added, “Distressing sexual problems are very common in women of all ages and women have a right to have healthy sexual function.
Women should be empowered to seek information and help.”