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  • Writer's pictureHolly Wood

How Many Women Experience Sexual Problems?

Approximately 40% of women worldwide, report experiencing sexual problems (Shifren, et al., 2008; Fugl-Meyer, et al., 2004; Laumann, et al., 2005; Zhang, et al, 2017). The most common of female sexual dysfunctions involves a lack of sexual interest and willingness to be sexual.

Why is this?

Sexual problems often arise from a mixture of biological, psychological, and social factors. This can include biological factors such as prior medical conditions such as cancer, chronic pain, and endometriosis, certain medications, including some antidepressants, blood pressure medications, antihistamines, chemotherapy drugs, and birth control, hormone fluctuation (whether from age, pregnancy, menstruation, birth control, or thyroid conditions), and poor sleep. Psychological factors include untreated anxiety or depression, or other mental health concerns, long-term stress, history of sexual abuse, and worries of pregnancy or STIs. Social factors can include problems in relationships, caretaking demands (such as for children or aging parents), work demands, how men and women are socialized to engage In sex (sexual scripts), and lack of accurate sex education that explains how women, men, and others experience sexual desire.

So when should you seek help for sexual problems?

Essentially, when they are a problem for you. How and how frequently you engage in sex is totally up to you. It’s up to you to determine what feels right for you. If sexual problems worry you or affect your relationship, reach out to your doctor or a qualified sex therapist for help.

Lastly, one of the top reasons why people come to me for treatment is for sexual trauma recovery and to rebuild pleasurable sex lives after experiencing sexual violence. Unfortunately, sexual abuse is an epidemic that impacts 1 in 4 individuals. Thus, whether they initially disclose it or not, many people seeking sex and relationship therapy probably have histories of sexual violence, which is why specific treatment methods for sexual trauma recovery in sex therapy are used. In my work, sexual trauma recovery is a multifaceted process that includes general trauma recovery techniques, education, development of coping skills, relationship counseling, and special sex therapy exercises for sexual healing. It also includes receiving education about the effects of trauma, relaxation techniques, and mindfulness to manage hypervigilance and other symptoms, and identifying and coping with one's sexual triggers.


Finding a Sexologist or Sex Therapist

Are you struggling with any of these concerns or another sex-related matter? If you are in search of someone who is certified, you can check the listing at the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) online directory. Lastly, if you are interested in working with a sexologist, I encourage you to ask about their area of focus and their background or credentials. That way, you can make the most informed decision about who to trust with your sexual health.

Who am I? A message from Holly…

My name is Holly and I am a Trauma-Informed and Board Certified Clinical Sexologist. I provide sex therapy and coaching to individuals and couples that are struggling with reaching their full potential. As a clinician, I am passionate about helping people achieve their goals and live happy, healthy, rewarding lives. I truly believe that trauma is the source of pathology, and that everyone has within them the capacity to heal. Furthermore, I am dedicated to fostering a safe environment, working with each individual to develop the necessary skills to achieve lifelong change to improve their quality of life. As your therapist, I can’t guarantee that I will be able to fully understand what it is like to walk in your shoes, but I can guarantee that I can help you to sort things out, let go of what does not serve you, and create the life you truly want. Peaceful. Connected. Powerful. And Pleasurable.

I offer a judgment-free zone, hold space for healing, and offer straight forward, no-nonsense feedback (if that’s what you need). Overall, I offer you the tools and guidance to get past your past and develop the necessary skills to achieve lifelong change and truly start living. - Holly Wood, MS., PhD(c), LMFT

Visit to learn more and request a consultation.

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