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Women's top 6 sexual problems
July 28th, 2010
12:20 PM ET

Women's top 6 sexual problems

It may sound like a headline from Cosmo, but a survey published in the Journal of the British Association of Urological Surgeons finds that the nearly two-thirds of women report  sexual dysfunction.

The top problem cited among women was lack of desire (47 percent), followed closely by orgasm problems (45 percent). Age, menopausal status and usage of antidepressants were statistically significant risk factors for female sexual dysfunction.

Researchers surveyed 587 women ages 18 to 95 who attend a New Jersey clinic.  Younger women cited problems with orgasms while older women lamented the lack of desire and satisfaction.

These were the most common problems overall:
1) lack of desire (47 percent)
2) orgasm problems (45 percent)
3) arousal issues (40 percent)
4) lack of satisfaction (39 percent)
5) lack of lubrication (37 percent)
6) pain (36 percent)

The top three sexual problems by age group, according to the study were:

Ages 18-30: orgasm (54 percent), desire (36 percent) and satisfaction (28 percent)
Ages 31-45: desire (48 percent), orgasm (43 percent) and satisfaction (40 percent)
Ages 46-54: desire (65 percent), satisfaction (53 percent) and orgasm (48 percent)
Ages 55-70: desire (77 percent), orgasm (66 percent), satisfaction (65 percent)

When a woman doesn't want sex

Earlier this year, a highly anticipated  so-called "female Viagra," a drug called flibanserin,  was nixed by a panel of Food and Drug Administration experts  who said the drug didn't seem to really help women with sexual dysfunction.

This was the second time a so-called "female Viagra" failed to make it on the market; in 2004, an FDA panel said no to Intrinsa, a testosterone patch meant to hormonally help women with a lack of desire for sex. In the absence of a drug to help women with sexual problems, here's what's recommended by some practitioners, reported Elizabeth Cohen.

A recent Empowered Patient column by Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen offered women tips for getting their groove back.


soundoff (483 Responses)
  1. speedro

    Exercise, sex toys, alcohol and lube. Solved.

    July 30, 2010 at 13:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • almxx

      There is one other necessary ingredient..... a partner you really want!

      August 10, 2010 at 02:58 | Report abuse |
  2. Jersey

    All these women on here compaining that they are the victim of lazy men!!!! Whoa ladies, it's 2010, take care of your needs, be comfortable enough with yourself and your partner to tell him what you need and if he doesn't help you out, you decide for yourself if the s e x is bad enough to end the relationship. If you can't tell the guy you're with about your needs and you choose to stay with him, that's YOUR ISSUE, not his. Stop blaming the men and be big girls.

    July 30, 2010 at 14:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Aaron

    I'm thiinking of a song... Jack Black – Tenacious D – Fu** Her Gently

    At least some of these problems would go away. As a man though, i must say, i completely do not understand the female sex drive. It seems random and sporatic, but once you get the juices flowing always the same.

    I think an interesting study would be to do this study in multiple locations, like france, england, canada, brazil, south africa etx. and maybe some societal causes may be derived more than a hormonal or other medical issue. I was recently talking with a girl friend of mine about "prudeness" and if there were a difference in prudeness regionally like northeast, south, west in the united states. A common hypothesis is that the northeast in particular is especially prude and that a more open and active sexual culture exists in the western states. Somewhere there exists a culture that meshes male and female together well where both sexes can be happy, together. Whether monogamous or not.

    July 31, 2010 at 10:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. bozo

    If your on prozac or any other serotonin reuptake inhibitor, you'll diminish or lose your sex drive. excess serotonin binds to receptors in the basal ganglia nerve plexus that controls your genitals, and prevents them from working. Wellbutrin does not have that effect.
    In my experience post menopausal women have lost most of their interest in sex. It's born out by the study.

    July 31, 2010 at 14:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Jim

    Abby, you have obviously had some seriously one-side sexual encounters with men. Assuming there are no underlying medical issues with you (phsyical, mental, or emotional), then it's just that you have yet to meet any of those men that understand intimacy and the excitement of pleasing someone other than themselves. Someday, you will feel differently, for your sake I hope it comes sooner than later. Why do people always partner up with others that are so selfish?

    August 1, 2010 at 14:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. puzzyeetin

    My wife and my mistress are both very satisfied.

    August 2, 2010 at 17:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. puzzyeetin

    my wife and my mistress are both very satisfied squirters.

    August 2, 2010 at 17:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Janice

    i am totally amazed at all the women having sexual difficulties and doing nothing about it. When I went through a period of low libido and inadequate sexual arousal, I started researching solutions to this problem. It was creating discord in my marriage. I wanted something natural, not a pharmaceutical. While doing my research, I got lucky. One of my clients gave me a sample of her product, Zestra. It's all natural, made from botanical oils, and it's applied externally when needed. No pills. Nothing that my whole body has to process. And, the best part, it works! My sex life became very fulfilling and as a result my libido increased. My husband loves it. women having sexual difficulties

    August 4, 2010 at 20:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Islander

    I carefully considered my first serious involvement. I don't think I've made many mistakes over the years. I can pick 'em and pick 'em right. It always seems to work out. I look over the field and take home the one with the biggest tits.

    August 4, 2010 at 20:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Ammie

    My husband is GORGEOUS. But sometimes I have a hard time getting aroused and don't know why. I think pain meds are the problem. I used to be on Zoloft for pain and a little depression about a year ago and I had to go off of it because it made me have absolutely no sexual desire. After I went off of it, things got much better. I am only 28 years old and I feel like it is easier to get aroused now than it was when I was in my early twenties. We have been together for 11 years so sometimes it gets hard to think of new things and can be boring at times. So, I try to imagine fantasy scenarios during (it really works!) and I try to stay fit and eat healthy as much as possible. I find that the less flabby my skin and fat is the more attractive I feel, which in turn helps me get aroused better. I guarantee dropping 10-15 lbs if you are overweight would help significantly. Hope this helps!

    August 11, 2010 at 10:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Good Grief

    The study had less than 600 women in the study, making the study ineffective. I am an older woman with many years of sexual experience – when young, married, divorced, and currently with the most wonderful lover of my life – even if we are both "fossils" compared to most of you reading this post. Both men and women can have physical problems, most of which can be worked through or around as necessary. Men are as emotionally sensitive as any woman although they express it differently. It is mind boggling to me to hear so many women speak of men (or directly to men) as though they do not possess any feelings at all. It has been said that men use women for sex and women use sex for love. Neither is appropriate and unless you get past that type of thinking and behaving you will always feel somewhat disappointed. Simply having sex will at the least be vaguely hollow, never truly satisfing until trust occurs between two people when they know that they are 100% acceptable to their partner - including real or perceived imperfections. No one can trust and feel accepted when their partner is unappreciative, neglectful of basic hygiene or when quarreling, nagging, degrading comments and behaviors are the norm. Intimacy requires a minimum of 20 minutes or you will never truly know each other no matter if you live your entire lives together regardless of age. Speaking of ages, there is no child in the world that has the capacity to respond satifactorily to adult intimacy. It is never acceptable for an adult to make an advance on a child! The child, boy or girl, will never be able to be a sexually responsive adult after being violated as a child. In other words, Don't EVEN go there. Nothing at all against a marriage ceremony but it is not a guarentee for sexual intimacy nor a prison to hold someone who is unsatisfied because all intimacy is being withheld by their spouse. Every satisfactory sexual relationship is created by two adults in a bed, either their own – or someone else's.

    August 14, 2010 at 21:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Adrian

    When looking at the problems that women are having you can't help but notice how most are related to eachother. Lack of desire the main issue in that list. Well it's kind of hard to orgasm when you're not feeling the desire to have sex in the first place. How can you be aroused if you don't feel the desire to have sex? Desire and arousal walk hand in hand, desire being the psychological equivalent of the bodys' physical arousal. You can't have one without the other. Lubrication is only going to happen with arousal, by way of desire. So it would seem the root problem leading to the other main issues is really a problem with desire. Now you can't eliminate those that have individual issues with the ability to orgasm, or just a lack of lubrication issue, etc. I am simply pointing out how the majority of the issues here have a common source in the complaint about a lack of desire.
    Now when it comes to desire, the medical industry is going to continue to fall flat on its face because men and women work completely differently sexually. Men are physiologically programmed to breed as often as possible with as many women as possible to continue the species. So the desire to reproduce is never lacking. Thus when it came to the overall male sex issue, erectile disfunction, all the pharmaceutical companies had to do was to figure out how to temporarily repair the male's broken equipment, thank you viagra. However, there is a completely different issue when it comes to women. First you have to recognize that in nature women are programmed to find the best possible mate to have children with. Nature provides plenty of men willing to reproduce, and selective women to ensure the best children in the next generation. So, when it comes to women, a lack of desire can be attributed to a subconcious recognition that your less than desireable mate who you love, adore, and might even be married to, is not the best possible mate out there. Thus your body doesn't have a desire to mate with him no matter how much you love him. It's nothing to be ashamed of because you can't conciously control the feeling of desire. This is why the pharmaceutical companies will find it exponentially harder to create a female sexual performance drug than it was to create a male sexual performance drug. They seem to be going about it in the "male" fashion by targeting stimulus to the genitalia, when the only hope would be a phycological drug to enduce the "desire" effect that is found when looking upon a pleasing potential mate. The desire would lead to arousal, which would lead to lubrication, and, so long as your partner knows how to please you, an orgasm. But who would want to take the equivalent of a "anti-sexdepressant" which could have other potentially harmful psychological or phsyiological side effects, just to improve their sex life?
    Having said all this, a much simpler, for women, answer would be to have your mate take better care of himself to look better, feel better, and be the more ideal mate that your body wants. Nothing, in my experience, works better on physical attraction than that. The increased quality and quantity of sex should entice him to put forth the extra effort.

    August 16, 2010 at 12:08 | Report abuse | Reply
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    August 18, 2010 at 00:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. sumwiseguy

    Fascinating reading. I am reminded of the old, old joke, which is, of course, only shared between males:

    Why do women fake orgasm?

    Because they think we care.

    August 21, 2010 at 14:51 | Report abuse | Reply
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    Women.

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    August 31, 2010 at 15:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Advice Giver

    This is why men should focus on teenage girls. They are usually wet and slippery and if they aren't, they don't have much to compare their "bad" experience to so they won't be very depressed when it's over.

    August 31, 2010 at 15:49 | Report abuse | Reply
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    I notice a lot of girls aren't comfortable with themselves and they have body image issues. They should lose some weight and learn how to really lose weight at http://www.diet-myths.com

    September 6, 2010 at 23:07 | Report abuse | Reply
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  23. Nigel Hein

    Very informative article. I was alarm by this. there is high percentage of people who are problematic about the "lack of desire" and as we grow old, the percentage of people who has sexual problem increases. Now I understand why the divorce cases around the world increases and also broken families.
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.