Female Sexual Problems

Female Sexual Problems

Sebaceous cysts (epidermal cysts) may be a foreign term to you, but many women have indeed experienced them -- perhaps without really knowing what they were at the time. Sebaceous cysts are small lumps or bumps just under the skin. To be more specific, they are closed sacs that contain keratin -- a "pasty" or "cheesy" looking protein that often has a foul odor.

A sexual problem, or sexual dysfunction, refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual or couple from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual activity. The sexual response cycle has four phases: excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution.

Female orgasmic dysfunction: Failure of a female to achieve an orgasm (climax) during sexual intercourse. This disorder can originate in psychological or emotional problems such as stress, anxiety, depression, fatigue, worry, guilt, fear of painful intercourse and fear of pregnancy. It can also develop from the undesirability of a partner, the undesirability of a setting, and the use of alcohol or drugs.

Genital herpes, also commonly called "herpes," is a viral infection by the herpes simplex virus (HSV) that is transmitted through intimate contact with the mucous-covered linings of the mouth or the vagina or the genital skin. The virus of this STD enters the linings or skin through microscopic tears. Once inside, the virus travels to the nerve roots near the spinal cord and settles there permanently.

Trichomoniasis (TRIK-uh-muh-NEYE-uh-suhss) is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by a parasite. It is sometimes called "trich." Trichomoniasis is the most common curable STI found in young, sexually active women. The parasite is spread through sexual contact. Women can get it by having penis -- to -- vagina intercourse with an infected man or vulva -- to -- vulva contact with an infected woman. Men usually get it only from infected women.

Syphilis is an STD that has been around for centuries. It is caused by a microscopic bacterial organism called a spirochete. The scientific name for the organism is Treponema pallidum. The spirochete is a wormlike, spiral-shaped organism that wiggles vigorously when viewed under a microscope. It infects the person by burrowing into the moist, mucous-covered lining of the mouth or genitals. The spirochete produces a classic, painless ulcer known as a chancre.

Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection caused by the organism Neisseria gonorrheae that is transmitted by sexual contact. Gonorrhea is one of the oldest known sexually transmitted diseases. It is estimated that over one million women are currently infected with gonorrhea. Among women who are infected, 25%-40% also will be infected with chlamydia, another type of bacteria that causes another STD.

Chlamydia (Chlamydia trachomatis) is a bacterium that causes an infection that is very similar to gonorrhea in the way that it is spread and the symptoms it produces. It is common and affects approximately 4 million women annually. Like gonorrhea, the chlamydia bacterium is found in the cervix and urethra and can live in the throat or rectum.

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a type of virus called a retrovirus, which infects humans when it comes in contact with tissues such as those that line the vagina, anal area, mouth, or eyes, or through a break in the skin. HIV infection is generally a slowly progressive disease in which the virus is present throughout the body at all stages of the disease.

Of the more than 100 types of papillomaviruses (HPVs) that infect humans, more than 40 types can infect the anogenital tract (genital tract and anus) of men and women and cause genital warts (known as condylomata acuminata or venereal warts). A subgroup of the HPVs that infect the anogenital tract (genital tract and anus) can lead to precancerous changes in the uterine cervix and cause cervical cancer or other genital cancers in women. The HPV types that cause cervical cancer also have been linked with both anal and penile cancer in men.

There are over 100 types of human papillomaviruses (HPVs) that infect humans. Of these, more than 40 types can infect the genital tract and anus (anogenital tract) of men and women and cause genital warts known as condylomata acuminata or venereal warts. A subgroup of the HPVs that infect the anogenital tract can lead to precancerous changes in the uterine cervix and cause uterine, cervical cancer.

Although vaginal itching is the hallmark of yeast infections and other vaginal infections (including sexually transmitted diseases, STDs), itching in the vagina and vulvar areas has multiple causes. Vaginal itching can also arise due to chemical irritants that may be found in detergents or soaps, douches and vaginal creams, toilet paper, bath products, feminine hygiene products, and vaginal contraceptive products.

Yeast is a type of fungus; when one speaks of a yeast infection this is referring to the fungus scientifically known as Candida. The specific type of fungus most commonly responsible for vaginitis is Candida albicans. Yeast is commonly present on normal human skin and in areas of moisture, such as the mouth and vagina. In fact, it is estimated that between 20% to 50% of healthy women normally carry yeast in the vaginal area.

Bacterial vaginosis is an abnormal vaginal condition that is characterized by vaginal discharge and results from an overgrowth of normal bacteria in the vagina. Bacterial vaginosis is not dangerous, but it can cause disturbing symptoms. Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis are vaginal discharge and odor, although 85% of women with the condition experience no symptoms.