Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Lack of Interest in Sex Might Be Psychological

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Lack of Interest in Sex Might Be Psychological

Article excerpt

Dear Open Mind: I'm having a hard time believing what I've just been told by my gynecologist. She says that my lack of interest in sex and the pain I've been experiencing when having sex doesn't seem to be caused from a medical or physical condition. She suggests that I see a therapist of some sort to see if there is any emotional or psychological reason.

I don't think I'm emotionally or psychologically any different now than I was a year ago, which is when this problem started. What good does talking to a therapist do for a physical problem like mine?

Human sexual response and behavior involves a complex interplay of a variety of component functions. These include physical and anatomical issues, hormonal processes, neurological and brain functioning, as well as emotional and psychological issues. Disturbances or difficulties in any of these areas can produce distress similar to what you describe in your question.

The fact that your lack of interest in sex and pain during intercourse began only a year ago suggests some acute change in one of the factors mentioned above. Since you do not mention any details in regard to yourself, I can only answer the question in general and abstract ways.

Psychological and emotional difficulties may manifest themselves by subjective awareness of psychological distress and/or by a change in sexual responsiveness, but they may also be expressed in the form of physical disabilities or symptoms. In addition, a number of illnesses can be accompanied by a lack of interest in sex, resulting in a failure properly to lubricate and therefore pain in intercourse.

I assume your gynecologist would have considered anatomical or hormonal changes as factors. Since a complete evaluation would explore all of the different potential factors mentioned earlier, it would be appropriate for you to assess psychological or emotional issues as possible causes. …

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