Numbness in the vagina during sex can be distressing for many women. Temporary numbness is normal, but lingering numbness may be a sign of an underlying issue that requires treatment.
Difficulty reaching orgasm can be caused by hormonal issues, but it can also be a result of psychological or relationship factors. Visiting an ob-gyn can help you discover what may be causing your numbness.
Low Estrogen Levels
Estrogen is the hormone that controls female sexual development, fertility, and menstrual cycles. It also affects mood and other hormones like serotonin, which helps you feel happy.
Estrogen levels rise during puberty and pregnancy and decrease as you enter perimenopause or menopause. Low estrogen levels can cause a variety of symptoms, including no sensation during sex. You may also notice vaginal dryness or pain during intercourse. These symptoms can be caused by a variety of factors, from genetic disorders to autoimmune diseases and diet.
Low estrogen levels can also cause irritability and mood changes. They can also affect your libido, making it harder to achieve orgasms during sex. Low estrogen can also cause a decrease in the thickness of the lining of your uterus, increasing your risk of urinary tract infections.
You can lower your estrogen levels by eating a healthy diet and avoiding foods that contain high amounts of fat, sugar, and salt. You can also reduce your stress level and get enough sleep. You can also use estrogen replacement therapy (HRT) to increase your estrogen levels. This treatment can be taken in the form of a pill, patch, or cream. Your OB/GYN will help you choose the type that is right for you. Estrogen replacement therapy can be helpful for men as well, but this treatment isn’t as widely used by men as it is by women.
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
The pelvic floor muscles tighten and relax in a coordinated manner to control bowel and bladder function, provide support for the lower abdomen and genitals and contribute to sexual arousal and orgasm. When these muscles are overactive or not relaxed properly, it can result in a lack of sensation during intercourse for both women and men. In addition, in some cases, the internal organs that are supported by the pelvic floor can slip down into the vagina, which is called a prolapse. This can lead to painful sex and vulva pain.
Pelvic floor dysfunction symptoms often develop gradually and insidiously and may be difficult to identify. Your doctor will start by collecting your full medical history, including a detailed account of your bowel and bladder functions and your experiences with sexual dysfunction and pelvic pain.
Your doctor will also perform a physical exam to see how well the pelvic floor muscles are working. During the physical exam, your doctor might use electrodes to measure the electrical activity in your pelvic muscles.
Your physician might recommend pelvic floor physical therapy or relaxation techniques to help ease your symptoms. If these treatments don’t improve your symptoms, your provider might refer you to a specialist in pain injections. These doctors specialize in localizing the exact muscles that are too tense and causing pain.
Menopause occurs when female hormones change and can lead to vaginal dryness, decreased sexual desire, erectile problems in men and urinary tract symptoms in women. It is also associated with hot flashes, insomnia and mood changes.
Women can experience clitoral atrophy, which is the shrinking of the clitoral hood, as they go through menopause. This condition can cause numbness during sex and can feel like an itchy sensation.
During menopause, the ovaries stop producing eggs and estrogen levels decrease. This is normal and most women experience this at some point in life. This is why it is important for women to take supplements that contain estrogen during this time.
Numbness in the genital area can occur as a result of straining the pelvic floor muscles or having too much pressure put on the nerves in the area. If you have a weak pelvic floor muscle, performing Kegel exercises can help strengthen the muscles. Numbness can also be a side effect of certain medications or health conditions.
The best thing you can do to help combat the effects of menopause is to get adequate rest and practice stress-reduction techniques. You should also avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can interfere with sleep. In addition, consuming healthy foods, practicing yoga and participating in recreational activities can all help to ease the symptoms of menopause.
Stress can also impact genital sensations and cause vaginal numbness during sex. This is because high levels of cortisol, which is released when the body is stressed, lowers estrogen and impacts arousal and sensitivity. Your OB/GYN or a UroGYN specializing in pelvic health can help to relieve these symptoms and ensure that your estrogen is at an appropriate level. You can also reduce your stress by trying yoga, meditation or reducing your alcohol intake to see if it makes a difference.
If your numbness is due to medication, ask your doctor about changing your dosage or medications. Many drugs including blood pressure medications, antipsychotics, and certain types of antidepressants can interfere with orgasm. If you are taking SSRI’s such as paroxetine (Paxil) and fluoxetine (Prozac), a change to a different type of antidepressant, like bupropion (Wellbutrin), can help.
Female sexual dysfunction is fairly common and can be due to both physical or psychological factors. However, numbness can be overcome by learning how to improve arousal and using the right techniques. With time and a little work, you can get your orgasm back and feel great during sex again! Just keep in mind that everyone’s “normal” is a bit different, so it may take a while to figure out what feels good for you. Just remember that the road to sexual pleasure is a beautiful journey that is worth traveling!