Female Sexual Dysfunction

Female Sexual Dysfunction

40 million women in the United States have some form of female sexual dysfunction, which includes:

  • Hypoactive sexual desire (low libido)
  • Sexual arousal disorder
  • Orgasmic disorder (anorgasmia)
  • Sexual pain disorder

Several key hormones contribute to proper female sexual function:

  • Oxytocin
  • Estrogen
  • Testosterone


  • Treatment with oxytocin can generate intense sexual desire in women
  • Is made directly in the brain
  • Its levels correlate with orgasmic intensity
  • Leads to increased blood flow to not only sexual organs but all peripheral structures in the body, thus providing warmth and increased sensitivity to skin and sensory organs
  • Is strongly linked to emotions of love, desire, and cuddling
  • Can be stimulated by touch, hugging, and massage
  • Is very active in the part of the brain that is believed to be the epicenter of orgasm

Estrogen is responsible for:

  • Maintaining appropriate vaginal lubrication in response to arousal
  • Tone of local musculature
  • Contributes to the increase in blood flow to the vaginal area during arousal and orgasm

Testosterone is mainly linked to:

  • Libido and desire
  • Sexual thoughts and fantasies

Sexual signs and symptoms of oxytocin insufficiency include:

  • Decreased vaginal lubrication
  • Absent or very brief orgasms that last no more than seconds
  • Prolonged time to reach orgasm
  • Decreased desire for intimacy
  • Decreased interest in sex

Other clinical signs and symptoms of low oxytocin levels:

  • Anxiety and nervousness
  • Unfriendliness and isolation
  • Increased sensitivity to pain
  • Minimal eye contact during social interactions
  • Decreased interest in social interaction

Low oxytocin levels can occur at any age, but it is often found in peri and post-menopausal women, in whom estrogen is also very low.