SEXUAL PROBLEMS: What Is Sexual Dysfunction? Types of Disorders
In This Article
SEXUAL PROBLEMS: What Is Sexual Dysfunction? Types of Disorders
Updated on November 13, 2023
Medically verified by Dr. Arya
Fact checked by Dr. Sharon
Sexual problems can be challenging to discuss, but they affect many of us. Whether it's a fleeting issue or something more persistent, understanding sexual dysfunction and its solutions is crucial for a fulfilling, healthy life.
Our sexual response is influenced by physiology, emotions, beliefs, lifestyle, and relationships. People of any gender and age can face sexual function problems at any point in life, either occasionally or consistently in various situations. Treating sexual issues may require a multifaceted approach due to their complex nature.
What is Sexual Dysfunction?
Sexual dysfunction means ongoing issues with sexual desire, response, orgasm, or pain that impact your relationship. It can mean problems with desire (not wanting sex), response (how your body reacts during sex), orgasm (reaching climax), or feeling pain during sex.
The four main types of sexual dysfunction are:
1. Desire Issues: When there's little or no interest in sex.
2. Arousal Problems: Trouble getting physically excited during sex.
3. Orgasm Difficulties: Delays or no climax.
4. Painful Intercourse: Feeling pain during sex.
Symptoms and Causes
Symptoms of Sexual Dysfunction:
- Difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection suitable for intercourse (known as erectile dysfunction).
- Absent or delayed ejaculation despite sufficient sexual stimulation (referred to as retarded ejaculation).
- Inability to control the timing of ejaculation (early or premature ejaculation).
- Difficulty achieving orgasm.
- Insufficient vaginal lubrication before and during intercourse.
- Inability to relax vaginal muscles adequately to engage in intercourse.
Different factors, which can be connected, can cause sexual dissatisfaction or problems:
Physical: Medical conditions such as cancer and kidney problems can lead to sexual problems. Some antidepressants, blood pressure drugs, antihistamines, and chemotherapy meds, can lower your sexual desire and make it harder to orgasm.
Hormonal: After menopause, lower oestrogen levels can change your genital tissues and how you respond sexually. Less oestrogen means less blood flow in your pelvic area, which can reduce genital sensation, make it take longer to get aroused, and reach orgasm. The vagina can also become thinner and less stretchy, especially if you're not having sex. This can cause painful intercourse (dyspareunia) and lower sexual desire.
Hormone levels also change after giving birth and during breastfeeding, which can lead to vaginal dryness and affect your desire for sex.
Psychological and social: Not getting treatment for anxiety or depression can lead to sexual problems, as can ongoing stress or a history of sexual abuse. The worries of pregnancy and the demands of being a new mom can have similar effects.
Having long-lasting conflicts with your partner, whether about sex or other parts of your relationship, can also make it hard to enjoy sex. Cultural and religious beliefs and issues with body image can contribute too.
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Types of Sexual Dysfunction Disorders
Let's get straight to the point and talk about common sexual problems:
1. Erectile Dysfunction (ED): This one's often called impotence. It's when guys have trouble getting or keeping an erection for sex. It can happen due to health issues like diabetes or heart disease, or stress and anxiety. Smoking and too much booze don't help either. But don't sweat it – treatments like pills, therapy, or lifestyle changes can help.
Managing ED; Do's and Don'ts
|If you are overweight, do lose weight.||Never consume excessive alcohol.|
|Quit smoking.||Avoid high fat food.|
|Eat a balanced diet||Say no to Drug Usage.|
|Workout each day|
2. Premature Ejaculation (PE): This one's about guys finishing too quickly during sex. Performance anxiety can play a part. Strategies like the stop-start method, counselling, or meds can help delay things a bit.
3. Female Sexual Arousal Disorder (FSAD): This one's for the ladies. It's when it's hard to get turned on or stay aroused during sex. Stress, relationship problems, hormones, or health issues can mess with it. Talking to a doctor and trying different ways to get in the mood can make a difference.
4. Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD): This is about a lack of sexual desire, and it affects both guys and gals. It can be due to relationship problems, health issues, or hormonal changes. Treatments include therapy, hormone therapy, or dealing with underlying health stuff.
5. Orgasmic Disorder: Both men and women can have trouble reaching orgasm even with enough stimulation. Physical issues, stress, meds, or relationship problems can mess with this. Therapy and good sex education can help you big time in bed.
6. Dyspareunia: Painful sex is not at all fun. It can affect both men and women and be caused by infections, health conditions, trauma, or even psychological challenges. Treatment for it depends on what's causing it, and options to mitigate it, include addressing the root issue, using lubes, or even physical therapy.
7. Vaginismus: This is when the muscles down there in the vagina tense up involuntarily and making sex painful or impossible even to think about. It's often connected to anxiety or fear. Treatment for it usually involves therapy and techniques to relax those muscles.
8. Sexual Pain Disorder: This one's a category covering various conditions where sex is painful. Men and women can experience it, and it might be due to medical issues, psychological issues, or past trauma.
When You Should See a Doctor
Sexual problems and disorders can be a real pain for both partners. If you don't address it right away, it might impact your relationship.
Contact your doctor if you:
- Have trouble getting excited during sex.
- Concerns regarding your erections.
- Delay in climax, or no climax at all.
- Feeling pain during sex.
Your doctor will first do a physical examination. This could be followed by a diagnostic test, depending on the results. Consider visiting a therapist if they are unable to identify a physical cause.
Administration and Therapy
What is the remedy for sexual dysfunction?
By addressing the underlying medical or psychological issues, the majority of sexual dysfunctions may be resolved. Other therapeutic approaches comprise:
Medicine: Changing the medicine may be helpful if it is the cause of the problem. Hormone injections, tablets, or creams may be helpful for both men and women who have hormone shortages.
Sex therapy: People with sexual issues that their main doctor is unable to handle might seek help from a sex therapist. Marriage counsellors are frequently excellent therapists as well. Working with a qualified expert is definitely worth the time and effort for a couple that wants to start enjoying their sexual connection.
Psychotherapy: Counselling with a skilled professional can assist you in addressing prior sexual trauma, emotions of worry, dread, guilt, and poor body image. These elements might all have an impact on sexual function.
Sex education: You may be able to get over your concerns about sexual function by learning more about sex, sexual behaviours, and sexual reactions. Many obstacles to a good sex life may be solved by having a direct and honest conversation with your spouse about your wants and worries.
Mechanical aids: With the use of penile pumps or other specialised vacuum devices, men who have trouble achieving or keeping an erection may find success. For certain men, particularly those who have lost feeling as a result of spinal damage, penile implants are a possibility. When a woman has vaginismus, she may occasionally receive treatment using specialised dilators that can help the vaginal muscles relax.
Many people have sexual issues. Feeling alone is a mistake since you most certainly are not.
Sexual Dysfunction is more complicated than just turning a switch. Physical health concerns, with many other factors, can contribute to these problems.
Sexual dysfunction involves having no desire for sex, having problems being physically aroused, having trouble attaining climax, or experiencing discomfort during the act.
There are different types of sexual disorders such as, Erectile dysfunction, Premature ejaculation and arousal disorders.
If you are facing any problems, you should not wait to seek professional help.
If you're finding it hard to get aroused or concerned with performance issues, you should see it as a red flag.
Treatment depends on the situation. It could entail dealing with any underlying medical or psychological problems, experimenting with therapy or medication, learning more about sex, or in some circumstances even employing mechanical aids.