5 Common Signs of Sexual Dysfunction

5 Common Signs of Sexual Dysfunction

If you’re struggling to reach orgasm, you are not alone. Studies estimate that around 1.2 billion penis-owners and 1.7 billion vulva-owners experience sexual dysfunction at some point in their lifetimes.

Are you experiencing signs of sexual dysfunction? Keep reading to find out!


Sexual dysfunction is a problem that can happen during any phase of the sexual response cycle and can occur every time you have sex or only during certain experiences. The sexual response cycle traditionally includes excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution.

The reason sexual dysfunction is so frustrating is that it prevents you from experiencing satisfaction or completion of sexual activity. As a proposed vital sign, sexual satisfaction is key to measuring your complete wellness as a fully matured adult.


Around 43% of vulva-owners and 31% of penis-owners* experience sexual dysfunction. (That’s that around 1.2 billion penis-owners and 1.7 billion vulva-owners.)

Source: National Library of Medicine, as where “penis-owners” is signified as “male” and “vulva-owners” is signified as “female”


1. Pain with Sex (Dyspareunia)

If you are experiencing pain before, during, or after sex, this is a red flag that you are experiencing signs of sexual dysfunction.

  • Vaginismus is the body’s automatic reaction to the fear of some or all types of vaginal penetration.
  • Vulvodynia is chronic pain in the vulva, typically described as a sensation of burning, stinging, itching, or rawness.
  • Hypersensitivity often occurs in penis owners and is described as a painful, overstimulated feeling on any part of the penis.
2. Vaginal (middle opening) Dryness

This is defined as a lack of lubrication to prevent uncomfortable friction during sex and is one of the top signs of sexual dysfunction that I see with my patients. Dryness can be caused by hormonal changes, soaps & detergents, and/or physiological responses.

3. Inability to Orgasm -or- Change in Orgasm

Another sign of sexual dysfunction is that you are completely unable to orgasm or that your orgasms have decreased in intensity.

4. Feels like a ‘Different Path’

If it feels like penetration is different or that there is a ‘different path’ being taken in your middle opening (vaginal canal) or anus, this is a sign that you are likely experiencing pelvic organ prolapse.

5. Testing the Waters

Testing the waters to see if you can ‘perform’ like you usually do or used to, is a sign of sexual dysfunction. Many of my patients, especially vulva-owners, report “trying” to see if they can get lubricated enough on their own instead of just using the lube outright. 


There is a myriad of reasons that go into whether or not one would have a complete sexual experience, from physical stimulation to hormonal components, to psychological happenings. 

Some of these factors have been assigned vocabulary that might help you understand and share with your doctor(s) about your specific experience:

  • Low sexual desire: Defined by a lack of sexual interest
  • Sexual arousal disorder: Defined by interest, but with an inability to maintain or achieve arousal.
  • Orgasmic disorder: Defined by difficulty in reaching orgasm even after sufficient sexual arousal and ongoing stimulation.
  • Sexual pain disorder: Defined by pain associated with sexual stimulation or vaginal contact.


Dr. Laura Meihofer’s Pelvic Floor Therapy focuses on helping patients understand the source of their sexual dysfunction to provide them with techniques and products to assist in remedying signs of sexual dysfunction.

Want to consult with Dr. Laura Meihofer? Book a FREE 20-minute consultation HERE.

(P.S. If you have any questions about your Pelvic Health, head over to Instagram and connect with me in the DMs!)

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