Sex & Relationships

Sexual anxiety: It's more common than you think

A new resource gives women a place to be more candid about their sexual issues.

Anxious woman with her hand on her head

Photo by Masterfile

You’re out with your girlfriends enjoying dinner and drinks, and as the night wears on the talk veers into the personal and, almost inevitably, the intimate.

Sexuality as a topic of conversation is no longer taboo except maybe in the doctor’s office — the one place that is should be uppermost on the agenda — where the same woman who freely tells her friends “everything” is suddenly dumbstruck when it comes to discussing with a trained professional, real problems or concerns she may be experiencing in the bedroom.

According to the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC), between one quarter to one half of Canadian women experience some form of sexual anxiety or worry but most lack the confidence or are too embarrassed to introduce the topic without being prodded to do so first by their physicians.

Aware of the difficulty that exists when it comes to a candid discussion of sexual problems, the SOGC has launched an online resource for women called Female Sexual Health.

It’s based on a guideline that appeared in August 2012 in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology for health-care workers and was designed to help them advise and treat women with sexual concerns.

“Sex is often a difficult topic to discuss,” said Dr. John Lamont, principal author of both in a press release issued by the SOCG.

“Because when it comes to sexual health, there is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach; what is a problem for one person may not be for another. Women are constantly being bombarded with media messages about sex — how they should feel about it, how often they should have sex, and so on. It leaves women wondering if the way they feel is normal. The truth is — being ‘normal’ in a sexual health context is really a very individual thing.”

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