Female Sexual Dysfunction and Acupuncture
Female sexual dysfunction (FSD) is an umbrella term that houses various conditions that negatively impact sexual functionality in women. These conditions may be caused by a variety of physiological, psychological and environmental factors. This group of disorders appears in a great deal of women, with a large percentage experiencing some form of sexual dysfunction at some point during her lifetime. The type of treatment used depends on what factors cause the symptoms. Acupuncture has been observed as a potential treatment for some forms of female sexual dysfunction, with research still in progress. This article will explore the usage of acupuncture as a FSD management tool, and will report on how effective it is for this cause.
Type of Female Sexual Dysfunction Disorders
- Hypoactive sexual desire disorder – extremely low female libido
- Sexual arousal disorder – difficulty becoming, and remaining aroused
- Sexual aversion disorder – feeling repulsed or guilty when engaged in sex; avoiding sexual contact
- Female orgasmic disorder – difficulty reaching organsm, even with adequate stimulation
- Dyspareunia, characterized – pelvic pain during intercourse
- Vaginismus – painful muscle spasms of the pelvic wall during intercourse
Female Sexual Dysfunction and Acupuncture
Acupuncture is rooted in traditional Chinese medicine. The practice follows the belief that energy flows through the body in a pattern that is necessary for good health. This vital force is known as Qi, which moves through the body via channels known as meridians. Originally speaking, the goal of acupuncture is to locate Qi imbalances, followed by deciding which acupoints should be used manipulated. There are an estimated 360 pressure points along the body’s meridians, says The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. In terms of FSD, Kidney Yang and Mingmen, the area between the kidneys that is connected by the uterus, energies are believed to be out of balance. As well, Blood Stasis is believed to be a cause of female sexual dysfunction. This is the obstruction of blood flow in the lower abdomen, which causes insufficient blood flow to the genitals. Acupoints are stimulated with a a needle ranging from one to 10 centimeters, with actual depth of puncture maxing out at five centimeters.
A research study published in the journal of Medical Acupuncture examined the use of the practice as a potential treatment for improving female libido. In total, 17 women with FSD participated in the study, who ranged from age 40-66. Each woman was given four separate acupuncture treatments. Sexual functioning was evaluated before the study began, as well as before the last treatment, and three weeks after the conclusion of the study. Symptoms were seen to improve a small amount, especially anxiety and desire-related issues. However, researchers concluded that, though the study had promising results, more research must be done before conclusions can be drawn. In addition, information written in the Journal of Sex Medicine noted that women who received acupuncture experienced a decrease in vulvar pain during intercourse.
Female sexual dysfunction disorders are a group of conditions that affect healthy sexual functioning in women. Each of the illnesses classified under female sexual dysfunction has a unique set of symptoms. Approximately 8-32% of women will deal with low female libidio or another form of FSD during her lifetime, says Medscape.com.The usefulness of acupuncture as a management tool for the symptoms of FSD has recently been examined. So far, the results have been positive, though more research needs to be conducted on the efficacy of acupuncture for this cause. The practice is rooted in traditional Chinese medicine, and is administered under the assumption that illness is caused by an imbalance of bodily energy. By locating specific acupoints, practitioners are able to stimulate these areas with small needles, thereby correcting the energy’s movement.
There are currently Los Angeles pharmaceutical trials being held for those suffering from female sexual dysfunction. To learn more, contact the Pacific Institute of Medical Research, which is an independent clinical research site specializing in psychiatry since 1982. Visit us online or call us at (310) 208-7144.