- Sexual dysfunction is a common problem among both men and women.
- It can be caused by physical problems and medical conditions, such as heart disease and hormone imbalances, or by psychological problems, like anxiety, depression and the effects of past trauma.
- Sexual dysfunction is a problem that can happen during any phase of the sexual response cycle.
- It prevents you from experiencing satisfaction from sexual activity.
- The sexual response cycle traditionally includes excitement, plateau, orgasm and resolution.
Symptoms of sexual dysfunction in men and women:-
- Women have five types of sexual problems:-
- Desire disorders:- No longer having an interest in sex. Having less of a desire than you used to have.
- Arousal disorders:-You can’t feel a sexual response in your body. You can’t stay sexually aroused.
- Orgasmic disorders:-You are unable to have an orgasm or you have pain during orgasm.
- Sexual pain disorders:- When you experience pain during or after sex.
- Hormone deficiency:- Reduced estrogen (the primary female hormone) can affect sexual desire.
Men have four types of sexual problems:-
- Erectile dysfunction:-Difficulty getting or keeping an erection.
- Desire disorders:- No longer having an interest in sex. Having less interest than you used to have.
- Problems with ejaculation:- Premature ejaculation (too early) or delayed (taking longer than normal or not at all).
- Low testosterone:-Reduced levels of the male hormone, testosterone.
What causes sexual dysfunction in men and women?
- Physical causes: Many physical and/or medical conditions can cause problems with sexual function. These conditions include diabetes, heart and vascular (blood vessel) disease, neurological disorders, hormonal imbalances, chronic diseases such as kidney or liver failure, and alcohol use disorder and substand use disorder.
- In addition, the side effects of some medications, including some antidepressant drugs, can affect sexual function.
- Psychological causes: These include work-related stress and anxiety, concern about sexual performance, marital or relationship problems, depression, feelings of guilt, concerns about body image and the effects of a past sexual trauma.
- Your health provider usually begins with a complete history of symptoms and a physical.
- They may order diagnostic tests to rule out medical problems that may be contributing to the dysfunction. Typically lab testing plays a very limited role in the diagnosis of sexual dysfunction.
- An evaluation of attitudes about sex, as well as other possible contributing factors —fear, anxiety, past sexual trauma/abuse, relationship concerns, medications, alcohol or drug abuse, etc. — helps a clinician understand the underlying cause of the problem and recommend the right treatment.
- Many cases of sexual dysfunction can be corrected by treating the mental or physical problems that cause it. Treatments include:-
- Medication:-Men and women with hormone deficiencies may benefit from hormone shots, pills or creams.
- Mechanical aids: Aids such as vacuum devices and penile implants may help men with erectile dysfunction.
- Sex therapy: Sex therapy play a vital role in people experiencing sexual problems that can’t be addressed by their primary clinician.
- Behavioral treatments: These involve various techniques, including insights into harmful behaviors in the relationship, or techniques such as self-stimulation for treatment of problems with arousal and/or orgasm.
- Psychotherapy: Therapy with a trained counselor can help you address sexual trauma from the past, feelings of anxiety, fear, guilt and poor body image. All of these factors may affect sexual function.
- Education and communication: Education about sex and sexual behaviors and responses may help you overcome anxieties about sexual function