Female Sexual Dysfunction: A Silent Burden
Here’s something we seldom talk about but should – sex. But I’m not talking about just sex. I’m talking about love making, relationships, real orgasm, and sexual health. March is women’s month, and I think it’s timely that we talk about things concerning women. Our country is starting to talk openly about menstruation (thank heavens, we’re finally catching up with other countries!). Other than that, another subject that seems so taboo (still) but shouldn’t be is, you guessed it, S-E-X.
So, yeah, let’s talk about sex, baby.
Sex should be pleasurable and enjoyable. For some, they consider it a form of bonding with their partners. Some take it as a stress-reliever. However, as fun as it should be, this is not the case for all of us, especially for women. In fact, women all over the world could be suffering from a health condition that they themselves may not be aware of.
This silent burden is called female sexual dysfunction (FSD).
This pertains to a recurrent problem with sexual response, desire or orgasm. This health issue is often overlooked mainly because our culture taught us to keep our mouths closed with topics like this. Most people think that sex should only be discussed in private, so much so that recurrent problems like this remain unaddressed and unsolved.
Research claims that 43% of adult women have experienced at least one manifestation of FSD at one point in their lives. Ever heard of women having problems with sexual intimacy due to lack of lubrication, pain during sex, difficulty with arousal, and the like? That’s basically what FSD is about. While not every woman experience this dysfunction, those who do risk a healthy sex life and a more harmonious relationship with their partners.
With all that said, I consider myself lucky to have been invited to attend a talk on female sexual dysfunction yesterday (March 20, 2017) with no less than Dr. Margarita Holmes as the key host speaker. She was the perfect speaker for this event as she is known to be a resident sexual therapist and psychologist in the Philippines. With her was Dr. Ditas Decenas, a medical consultant and practitioner, who explained to us in detail how FSD can actually be addressed properly with consultations, open discussions, and of course, effective product solutions.
Most people think that women lack sexual arousal when they hit their menopausal stage, but FSD can actually occur for women at any age. According to Pinky Ferrer, the senior product manager at AJ Research & Pharma:
“The reality is that FSD not only affects the individual physically but emotionally and socially as well. It strains her relationship with her partner, and a dissatisfied disposition negatively impacts interactions at home and at work in general.”
Isn’t this alarming? What’s worse is that women who encounter the aforementioned symptoms simply shrug them off, which actually leads to more serious physical symptoms, and deeper emotional and social dissatisfaction. Here’s a silver lining, though. FSD is pretty easy to address once we start discussing it more openly. Even if you don’t personally have this problem, you can help someone who does. Being aware of it is already one step towards helping women address this issue.
While sex is a sensitive topic to discuss, and most people are not comfortable discussing it in public, the host and the speakers made the event warm, informative, and intimate (literally and figuratively) by carrying a positive ambiance across the room. People from different walks of life and age attended the event. There were media personnel, professionals, and even millennials.
After registering for the event, we were handed a mini questionnaire. We were free to answer it or not.
The event was graciously hosted by Gee Canlas with opening remarks from Javed Mohammad, CEO of AJ Research & Pharma. Dr. Margie Holmes was very visual and jocular with her explanations, while Dr. Decenas touched the more technical and medical part of the topic. It was easy to feel welcomed in the room as it was beautifully decorated with large flowers representing the female sexual organ, large posters with informative texts, and two TV screens that highlighted quotes about women by women.
Gee Canlas, event host
Before the program proper started, a buffet dinner was served for all the guests, desserts included. Drinks were also distributed and we were able to choose the beverage of our choice.
Food samplers distributed to the guests prior the event
The room was filled with delicate finger foods, wine and champagne, and educational discussions. After each speaker spoke, there was an allotted Q&A portion so the audience would understand the topic better. Questions such as “What is FSD and is it prevalent in the Philippines?”, “Do lesbian couples also experience FSD?”, and “How can we address FSD?” to name a few, were tackled.
Opening remarks by Javed Mohammad, CEO of AJ Research & Pharma
Dr. Margie Holmes opening the discussion with a few laughs and the social/relationship POV of FSD
Dr. Decenas discussing the medical POV of FSD
Q&A portion with Dr. Decenas
To discuss briefly, lesbian couples also experience FSD, but unlike straight couples, research shows that the dysfunction occurs lesser for them as they already know what the other wants, being that they are the same sex. FSD is prevalent in the Philippines as it is in other countries. However, our conservative culture prevents us from discussing this problem openly, therefore finding ways to address it.
During the event, it was discussed that there are simple ways to overcome female sexual dysfunction, all of which are non-medical and purely natural. Most of which also require just simple tweaks in a woman’s lifestyle.
- Open communication – Dialogue with one’s sexual partner or significant other is key to understanding one’s own body and sexual needs as well. Learn or develop a system of communication to enhance intimacy not just physically but emotionally as well.
- Counseling – The professional guidance of a psychologist or medical professional may provide more effective and efficient communication and self-awareness exercises, techniques, and tools.
- Healthy living – An overall lifestyle of health and wellness greatly enhances one’s sexual well-being. Experts advise, for instance, to limit alcohol intake as it can dampen sexual responsiveness. Regular physical activity and exercise can also increase stamina, elevate mood, and eliminate stress.
- Devices and topical gel – Women should learn to utilize devices to increase sexual stimulation and arousal. Lubricants and other types of topical products are also helpful especially during intercourse to treat dryness or pain, but this offers temporary solution especially in dealing with vaginal dryness.
It’s a huge help for us women that companies are constantly looking for ways to help us address issues like this FSD. In line with this, AJ Research & Pharma, an integrated healthcare and life sciences company headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, introduced an innovative feminine intimacy gel product that helps restore the natural moisture in the female intimate area. This addresses the symptoms of Female Sexual Dysfunction by intensifying vaginal sensitivity and helping women reach pleasurable orgasm.
“With VSENSE, we aim to encourage women to make it a habit of taking care of their intimate health and well-being,” says Javed Ghulam Mohammad, CEO of AJ Research & Pharma, who flew in Manila exclusively for the event.
AJ Research & Pharma has launched VSENSE intimate gel in the Philippine market, eyeing an untapped segment of feminine products that are therapeutic in nature.
Ferrer shared, “It is high time that women get over the stigma of being sexually aware or in touch with their intimate needs. VSENSE helps empower women to address FSD and improve their overall well-being by improving their sexual health.”
Lucky winners of the iPad mini raffle prize
By being aware that a product solution as such exists in the market, we can help our fellow women counter their sexual dysfunctions. We may not be personally experiencing this problem, but there’s no harm in being informed. In fact, it can benefit us all – men and women alike.