Why should I seek help?
Is it my fault?
What anatomy is involved?
What is healthy sexual function?
How do I know when to seek help?
Where do I go for help?
What can I expect when seeking help?
How do I seek help?
What self-help options do I have?
NOTE: This website is best viewed on a computer or tablet, but you can also view it on a mobile phone (try horizontal viewing on a phone and see if you prefer that way).
You may have found this web-based guide because you are a woman who is concerned about your sexual desire, arousal, orgasm, pain, or pleasure. Or maybe you’re the partner of a woman who is experiencing these problems. Maybe you’re not sure if it’s actually a problem, or you’re not sure where to go for help. Maybe you’ve tried getting help but you didn’t see any improvement or your healthcare provider wasn’t very helpful. You’ve come to the right place.
A sexual dysfunction is a distressing disturbance in a person’s ability to respond sexually or experience sexual pleasure. Sexual dysfunctions can affect sexual desire, arousal, orgasm, pain, and pleasure. You may already know that women can experience low desire, difficulties with arousal and orgasm, and sexual pain. But women can also experience other sexual dysfunctions, such as arousal that won’t go away, unwanted genital sensations, painful orgasms, genital numbness, or inability to experience sexual pleasure. And there is help available!
Who is this guide for?
This web-based guide was designed for Albertan cisgender women (women who were assigned female at birth) who are seeking help for female sexual dysfunctions (FSDs), but most of the information is relevant to women from other provinces and countries too. Some of the information will also be helpful for trans men, trans women, intersex people, and anyone seeking help for less common sexual function problems.
The terms “female sexual dysfunction” and “female sexual disorder” (FSD) refer to sexual problems that meet diagnostic criteria of either the DSM-5 or the ICD-11. However, this guide is also meant for women who have sexual problems, concerns, and issues which do not necessarily meet these criteria.
How to use this web-based guide
You don’t have to read this entire web-based guide from beginning to end. In a perfect world, you would, but let’s face it, you probably have other priorities, even if your sexual function problems are really important too. That’s why I’ve organized the information in this web-based guide under menu questions (at the top of the page), so that you can read the information that seems important or relevant to you.
I have included many hyperlinks (in red) within this web-based guide. Sometimes they link to pages within the web-based guide and sometimes they link to external webpages. To avoid you losing your place in the web-based guide, I have made it so all of these links open in a new tab.
Warning: While this web-based guide does not contain any pornography, it does contain diagrams of female genitals (on the anatomy webpage) and links to resources that have diagrams or images of female genitals for educational purposes.