Men aren’t the only ones who suffer from impotence. Research shows that the condition appears to becoming more common among women.
Female impotence, or female sexual dysfunction, is a catchall term used to describe difficulties in having sexual desire, enjoying sex, being adequately aroused or achieving an orgasm.
Certain medications can have an impact on women’s libido. Some well-known culprits include drugs prescribed for diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, cancer and heart disease.
A woman may experience decreased sexual desire ranging from hormonal changes to emotional stress. These include psychological and physical factors.
Physical factors causing female sexual dysfunction are estimated to range from 30 to 80 percent. The disorder can stem from problems in circulatory or neurological function.
Kenneth Maravilla, Professor of Radiology and Neurological Surgery and Director of MRI Research Laboratory at the University of Washington, did research based on neuroimaging of women's sexual function. In a small study of four women with sexual arousal disorder, he found less brain activation in this group, including very little activation in the amygdala.
The emotional and psychological causes of female impotence can be harder to diagnose. According to Dr. Debra George, a psychologist and licensed marriage and family therapist, a lot of female impotency is due to something from a woman’s youth or childhood. This past experience has a profound effect on them and inhibits their sexuality.
Some studies say there is just plain lack of attraction between a woman and her partner. Mental stimulation plays a large role in sexual arousal, and if a woman isn’t satisfied with her sex partner for any number of reasons, this may translate into decreased libido with that partner.
There hasn’t been much investigation into individual factors related to female sexual dysfunction. Such factors include stress, levels of fatigue, health, poor body image, self-consciousness and low self-esteem.
Drug companies, aware of the lucrative male impotence market, are still working to produce medications to treat women for this dysfunction.