Sex and sexuality are an important part of life with many studies showing the incredible benefits to our health. Sex activates a variety of neurotransmitters that impact our brains as well as several other organs within the body. All women deserve to enjoy a healthy sex life despite the unique challenges that we can face throughout our lifetimes. According to the OHSU Center for Women’s Health, research has proven that sex can benefit women in the following ways:

  • Improved immune support
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Better heart health
  • Reduction in anxiety and depression
  • Improved self-esteem
  • Natural pain relief
  • Better sleep
  • Overall physiological and emotional stress reduction
  • Increased intimacy and connection with a sexual partner
  • Better sexual function
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For women without a partner, masturbation won’t release as much oxytocin or other mood-boosting hormones when compared to having sex in a loving relationship. However, women can still experience the physiological benefits including lower blood pressure, pain reduction, and better sleep through masturbation. Even for those enjoying a sexual experience without an orgasm, there are still neurotransmitters that are activated for boasting some of these benefits.  

Common Sex Challenges Among Women

While sex can offer such incredible health benefits for those engaged in healthy sex lives and sexuality, there are many common challenges and conditions that women uniquely face. Issues in the bedroom can often be taboo to discuss, making it even more important to create a safe space for women to be able to find viable resources to help. Here are the most common concerns that can impact a woman’s sex life:

Stress

According to women’s health specialist Pelin Batur MD, stress can significantly impact your sex drive. Unmanaged stress can wreak havoc across the body in various physical, emotional, and mental symptoms. A great way to determine if stress is the culprit for your lack of libido is by asking yourself how vacation sex would be. If your sex life is great on vacation, then it’s probably stress and not a medical problem. Finding effective stress management is important for getting your sex life back on track.

Pain

Pain during sex can be common but isn’t normal. If you’re experiencing painful intercourse, it’s important to speak to your healthcare provider in order to determine the cause. According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, three out of four women will experience painful penetration during some point in their lifetime. There are numerous reasons why someone can experience genital pain as the pelvis is the sexual, structural, hormonal, and emotional epicenter of our bodies. With any injury, inflammation, trauma, or tension, these conditions can impact how women experience arousal and can also contribute to painful stimuli. Here are some of the more common causes of painful intercourse: 

  • Pelvic floor dysfunction: This common condition occurs when the pelvic muscles don’t relax normally. Pelvic dysfunction often causes painful sex but can usually be corrected through physical therapy and biofeedback treatment.
  • Micro-tears: The lining within the inner labia and vaginal canal is a mucous membrane. This membrane prefers to be moist and is unfortunately prone to micro-tears when there’s a lack of lubrication. Too much friction and not enough moisture can cause micro-tears, leading to a sore vagina. Making sure you have a safe, chemical-free lube or intimacy spray can help prevent this concern.
  • Hormone changes: Our hormones have the largest impact on our genitals. Our hormone levels change constantly throughout the month along our menstrual cycles which can impact the vagina and how we experience sex. During menopause, estrogen plummets both during and often postpartum. Estrogen is responsible for the lubrication and plumpness in our vaginal tissues. It’s very common for women undergoing menopause to experience genitourinary conditions, leading to painful intercourse. It’s vital to support these tender tissues through lubrication and vaginal moisturizer.
  • Chemicals and pH disruption: The vagina has a very delicate pH that can be easily thrown off by lubes, soaps, douching, and other feminine products. Gynecologists recommend staying away from products marketed to improve vaginal pH as well as those that have fragrance. It’s important to be conscious of anything that touches the skin of your genitals– douching and many other products can disrupt your internal flora, leading to pain and discomfort.
  • Scar tissue: Scar tissue caused by childbirth, surgeries, and episiotomies can also lead to painful intercourse. This type of tissue can restrict the proper blood flow that’s required for arousal, increasing pain and impacting lubrication. The lack of lubrication can further contribute to small amounts of scar tissue to form in sensitive areas.  
  • Untreated infections or STIs: Untreated infections can irritate the vaginal wall and vulva lining, leading to inflammation and pain. If you suspect an infection or STI, it is crucial to seek immediate care for treatment. 
  • Muscle soreness: Tenderness and mild discomfort after sex can sometimes be common as well. However, this type of pain will be considerably different than the pain experienced during and after intercourse. Problematic pain is often described as sharp, constant, and sometimes unbearable. 
  • Other causes: Autoimmune, hormonal, and inflammatory biochemical factors all contribute to pain. There are numerous chronic conditions that can lead to painful sex including endometriosis, vaginismus, vulvodynia, interstitial cystitis, lichen sclerosis, and more. 

Psychological Causes

Women are at a higher risk for depression and anxiety disorders. These conditions can significantly impact your sex drive. A history of sexual trauma, relationship issues, and other contributing psychological causes can also compromise a healthy sex life. Taking advantage of mental services and therapy can help women work through these challenges. 

Low Sex Drive

Low sex drive can be caused by a wide variety of reasons ranging from diet to chronic conditions like hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD).  Pinpointing the causes of your low sex drive and treating accordingly is important. 

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Traditional Pharmaceutical Option Risks for Low Libido

Flibanserin is a Viagra-like drug that’s prescribed for female sexual interest/arousal disorder (FSIAD), also known as HSDD,  in premenopausal women. Some women have also been prescribed Viagra but clinical trial results are still mixed. The side effects of Flibanserin include dizziness, insomnia, nausea, dry mouth, fatigue, low blood pressure, and fainting or loss of consciousness. This drug has boxed warnings which are the most serious warnings from the FDA. It also poses serious drug interactions with restrictions on alcohol intake as well. 

The Endocannabinoids System and Sex

The endocannabinoid system is responsible for regulating major physiological functions including mood, appetite, sleep, pain, fertility, and more. It produces endocannabinoids that attach to cannabinoid receptors that are located throughout the central nervous system and body, including your sexual reproductive organs. This happens in order to nudge all systems towards homeostasis, helping balance hormones and ultimately increase sex drive. Studies indicate that the endocannabinoid concentration in the body plays an important role in arousal. Since CBD has the same chemical makeup as our endocannabinoids, it can cause the same harmonic reaction. CBD may also help increase our body’s production of anandamide which also helps release oxytocin. Elevated levels of oxytocin, also known as the “love hormone”, often have a positive impact on social interactions, including sex. 

How Can CBD Help Women With Sex?

According to Alex Capano, researcher at the Lambert Center for the Study of Medicinal Cannabis and Hemp at Thomas Jefferson University, “There are so many cannabinoid receptors in reproductive organs and sexual tissue. CBD increases blood flow to tissues, which increases sensitivity and promotes the body’s own natural lubrications.” CBD’s encouraging vasodilator properties may offer the support women need for combating certain genitourinary issues. Especially when applied topically, CBD may encourage blood flow for increased sensitivity and enhanced natural lubrication.     

CBD is well-celebrated for pain relief by individuals with a wide variety of conditions and injuries. The promising anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxant properties of CBD may offer better comfort as well. CBD’s renowned pain-relieving potential coupled with increased blood flow and relaxed muscles can create a wonderful setting for improving your sexual experience. For women that suffer from painful intercourse, CBD may offer the relief you’re seeking.

Tip: Try applying our Pause CBD Intimacy Spray directly to the vagina and surrounding pelvic region to enhance blood flow and natural lubrication while alleviating pain and discomfort. 

When we’re tired, stressed, and anxious, our sex drive can easily diminish. Our bodies will often prioritize many other physiological needs rather than sex during these turbulent times. CBD may also offer anti-stress and anti-anxiety potential for addressing some of the psychological causes that impact a healthy sex life. There are numerous studies supporting CBD’s promising effects on various mental health conditions, helping promote a calming, relaxed state of mind that works synergistically alongside all of the promising physical health benefits. 

Tip: Sip on some Pause CBD Tea to help get you in the mood.

How Can CBD Help Men With Sex?

Women aren’t the only ones that can benefit from CBD in the bedroom. The encouraging vasodilator and stress-relief properties may also prove beneficial for men suffering from erectile dysfunction. While there aren’t studies available specifically on CBD and erectile dysfunction, overwhelmingly positive anecdotal accounts have been reported. Men can also be impacted by pain and psychological causes, therefore, experiencing some of the similar benefits of CBD during sex.

How to Use CBD for Sex

While all cannabinoid therapy varies from person to person, this is especially true when it comes to using CBD for enhancing your sexual experiences. The results and effectiveness highly vary on the person, the administration method, product cannabinoid profile, timing, and dosage. 

We recommend self-experimenting with dosage and products to find what works best for you. Topical CBD is ideal for boosting natural lubrication, alleviating pain, and relaxing tense muscles. Ingestible CBD is ideal for addressing stress, anxiety, pain, and more. Depending on your needs, you may want to utilize one or both administration methods. When it comes to understanding the effects of any new supplementation, it’s also wise to keep a journal where you track your dosage, timing, and sex. This can give you a clear set of data points for creating the proper CBD regimen for sex and allowing you to better understand how it affects you. 

Press Pause CBD for Sex

As women, we understand the complicated nuances of our body chemistry and how it impacts our search for a healthy sex life. That’s why we’ve handcrafted our high-quality CBD products just for you. We’re always happy to help you find the right products for improving your sexual experiences and addressing the underlying causes. Please contact us for more information!

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