Obesity And Female Sexual Dysfunction
Yesterday I finished watching two seasons of the Hollywood series “Masters of Sex”, no wonder that series won so many awards. Oh boy! it was amazing, well not because it is about “sex” as such but because it is about sexual dysfunction and finding its cure. The way this taboo topic and questions related to it have been addressed in it is great. One of the most important topics touched is female sexual dysfunction. Though I would have loved to see an episode on Obesity And Female Sexual Dysfunction.
Well, when we talk about sex it’s generally in hushed tones and the worst is when it’s about women. I have read a lot about the relationship between obesity and sexuality. Every time I read I found out that there is a lot of research done on obesity and sexuality issues as isolated cases, but not that much on the link between the two. Maybe because of the obvious misconception that obesity and sexuality cannot coexist. It is very clear in the minds of people that sexual satisfaction is only for thin people who are attractive, and that there are hardly any sexual opportunities for obese people. In fact, when I came back to Delhi NCR one year back after staying away from North India for a long period, I thought that more than 50% of women must be obese and morbidly obese. And then the second thoughts were, “What about their private life?” Well, I hope this thought won’t give me a tag of a pervert or something, but the fact is that it’s high time we come out of the deep dark dungeons of hushed whispers and speak out loud about our physical concerns.
The link between obesity and sexual dysfunction
Undoubtedly obese individuals commonly experience sexual difficulties due to their weight. Though it is a known fact that in males obesity lowers sexual satisfaction and causes erectile dysfunction yet the relationship between obesity and female sexual dysfunction is not very clear. Still, there is no doubt that obesity in women may lead to reduced physical desires, which might be due to physical or emotional reasons. Obese women experience social stigma leading to discrimination and emotional cruelty because of their weight.
Sexuality has nothing to do with intercourse as such but it is about a woman’s overall wellbeing that gets affected because of poor self-esteem and body image. Overweight people may feel physically unattractive and undesirable making them unable to go for physical relationships. And the worst is that no one thinks it to be a real big problem. In India, I really doubt if any of those obese women who are not able to reach a perfect orgasm have ever even thought of visiting a specialist!! No, they don’t do that as they don’t consider bedroom problems as real problems.
Obesity and sexuality are related to each other in such a complicated way that it is difficult to conclude if obesity is the reason for sexual dysfunction or vice versa. If you have had problems in the past which were related to the sexual act like being a sexual abuse victim, you might get on to comfort eating or binging concludingly making you fat. Various psychological issues could be the cause of your weight issues which make you avoid intimacy.
Symptoms of female sexual dysfunction
- Diminished or total lack of interest in physical relation
- Difficulty achieving or maintaining arousal
- Difficulty in achieving peak
- Pain during or after intercourse
What research says?
Various researches resulted in finding out that:
- Obese individuals find intercourse difficult because of their weight.
- lack of physical desire and gratification is directly related to obesity.
- A higher BMI means impairment in private life.
- Sexual quality of life is impaired in obese women more than in obese men.
- Since women give more importance to body image so they face more issues related to dysfunction.
- Women think more from their heart as a result block certain pleasures unknowingly, leading to emotional blockages.
How to manage sexual dysfunction?
If women wish to manage sexual dysfunction then they need to accept it as a great personal challenge because Indian women and that too obese ones never accept the fact that they too deserve sexual satisfaction for their own emotional well-being. For them it is part of the obesity package. Even if they acknowledge it then they keep looking for someone who could understand their issue and help them out. It is important that women understand their individual biological needs and move towards a better world of sexual and emotional health.
See the specialist
- Remember a doctor only can help by screening for sexual problems and discussing this sensitive topic without any emotions involved. So feel free to visit the specialist.
- Remember that sexual problems are common in both obese and non-obese people, so do not hesitate.
- Try not to let embarrassment stop you from receiving the proper care. You deserve every bit of it.
- Good communication, understanding, and a strong doctor-patient relationship are important for treatment. So open up with your doctor and speak out the truth.
Accept your body image
- To manage sexuality issues it is important to learn to accept your body and overcome shame associated with your body. There is a need to understand if sex makes you feel good about yourself.
- Give a chance to your doctor to use behavioral therapy to help you improve your bad habits. Help the doctor to change your ways of thinking about food and sex.
- Improve your self-esteem and promote self-acceptance to make yourself help overcome your sexuality problems.
Go for Sexual therapy
There are various sex therapy programs that help in enhancing sexual communication and assertiveness.
Try to lose weight
To improve your sexual life it is important to lose weight. Weight loss goes a long way in providing health benefits and improving self-esteem.
Research proves that cutting down on carbohydrates helps in uplifting mood and thus lets you concentrate on what you do at a particular moment. Replacing those
carbohydrates with lots of non-starchy fruit and vegetables, plus protein at every meal along with fish oils which increase blood flow are, crucial for sexual pleasure, makes things better in the bedrooms.
The more confident you are, the more relaxed you are so for that take-up exercise which might be a daily brisk real brisk walk or jog which gets your heart pump real fast and furious.
Leave the baggage behind
Women live in a world of strong emotions. If you too are carrying some old baggage and feel clustered because of that, it’s time to leave behind all those knots. Try to find a way out of your psychological and emotional baggage and for that you need to be aware and analyzing.
Well, the final word I think will be, “Women please stop pitying yourself, be assertive as sexual gratification is your right too.. physical as well as emotional. See a doctor, talk it out and opt for required therapy. Go all the way out to overcome your baggage and remember all dysfunctions are in your mind unless it is due to some physical ailment. Obese women too are equally potent to have a satisfying time in their bedrooms.”