Female sexual dysfunction
Surprisingly high incidence in India
Healthy sexual functioning is an important contributor to women’s sense of well-being and quality of life. Surveys done in the US and Europe have identified that female sexual dysfunction (FSD) is strikingly prevalent. However, epidemiological investigations regarding the prevalence and factors associated with FSD from developing countries are limited. In India, literature on the prevalence of sexual dysfunction among women is particularly scant.
Against this backdrop, Singh et al (Prevalence and risk factors for female sexual dysfunction in women attending a medical clinic in south India. (J Postgrad Med 2009;55:113-20) administered a Tamil version of the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) questionnaire to 149 married women to evaluate the putative risk factors for FSD and elicited participant’s attributions for their sexual difficulties.
FSFI total scores suggested FSD in two-thirds of the 149 women (73.2%). FSFI domain scores suggested difficulties with desire in 77.2%; arousal in 91.3%; lubrication in 96.6%; orgasm in 86.6%, satisfaction in 81.2%, and pain in 64.4%. Age above 40 years and fewer years of education were identified by logistic regression as contributory.
The authors concluded that sexual problems suggestive of dysfunction, as suggested by FSFI total and domain scores, are highly prevalent in the clinic setting, particularly among women above 40 and those less educated, but confirmation using locally validated cut-off scores of the FSFI is needed.
Elaborating on the socio-cultural angle of this problem, the authors opine that as a woman matures, she is expected to maintain a culture of silence when confronted with issues of her own sexuality. This suppresses a women’s ability to access information about her sexual health for fear that her reputation will be damaged. Lack of privacy, foreplay, sexual openness and freedom, expressions of physical or emotional affection, coupled with ignorance of issues pertaining to sex and sexuality and poor communication regarding sexual matters, result in many women in India portrayed their experiences with sexual intercourse as furtive, shameful, acts in cramped, crowded rooms, lasting barely a few minutes and considered a duty; an experience to be submitted to, often from a fear of beating.
This study is arguably among the first ones to deal with this sensitive issue in the highly conservative Indian families. It brings out the need for the appropriate use of corrective measures including natural products that will normalize sexual function in this target population who would otherwise be deprived of this right to healthy living.
Apart from these socio- cultural causes, number of medical conditions, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, heart disease and bladder problems; certain medications like antidepressants, anti hypertensive drugs, antihistamines; hormonal variations due to aging and long-term psychological problems can lead to sexual dysfunctions in females. A comprehensive approach with de-stressing and natural estrogenic herbs helps to effectively manage this condition in females. Vivadona capsule is one such combination of herbal actives like Shatavari, Brahmi, Musali, Shilajit, Yashad offers to enhance sexual desire and drive in females. Vivadona helps to balance body’s natural sexual response and thereby helps to attain pleasure and satisfaction.