Sexual dysfunction is a difficulty that is experienced by one person or a couple at any stage or normal sexual activity. This may include physical pleasure, sexual desire, arousal and even climax. Sexual dysfunction requires a person to experience extreme distress for a period of more than six months. The dysfunctions themselves can have a huge impact on sexual life.

In order to assess sexual dysfunction usually a therapist would assess a variety of different things including anxiety, guilt, stress and worry, as well as the clients sexual history.

Types of Sexual Dysfunctions

Sexual dysfunctions can usually be classified in four real categories; sexual desire disorders, arousal disorders, orgasm disorders and pain disorders.

Sexual Desire Disorders

A sexual desire disorder can also be decreased libido and is characterized by a lack of desire to participate in sexual activity. This can be applicable to general lack of desire or sudden lack of sexual desire to your partner.

The causes of SDD vary, but this could be possible due to a decrease in the production of estrogen in women, or testosterone in men and women. Other causes may include aging, medication, and depression or anxiety.

Sexual Arousal Disorders

This is often described as frigidity in women and impotence in men, however these have now been replaced with less judgmental terms.

For both men and women, these conditions can be manifested as an aversion to sexual contact with your partner. In men, it may be failure around having and maintaining an erection.

There are usually physiological problems associated with these disorders, including decreased blood flow and reduced vaginal lubrication. 

Erectile Dysfunction

ED or impotence is a sexual dysfunction that is characterised by the inability to develop or maintain an erection. There are various underlying issues that could cause this, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, blood flow issues, or nervi erigentes.

Erectile dysfunction can also be caused by psychological issues including anxiety, or stress.

Due to its embarrassing nature and the shame felt by sufferers, some find it difficult to talk about. Some folk remedies have even been created to help those who suffer from erectile dysfunction. There are also medicines that can help by driving blood to the penis.

Premature Ejaculation

Premature ejaculation is when a man ejaculates before their partner achieves orgasm, or a mutually satisfactory amount of time has passed. There is no set time that intercourse is set to last for, buy generally, premature ejaculation is thought to be when sexual intercourse lasts under two minutes.

Premature ejaculation is attributed to psychological issues, however recent developments have attributed it to an underlying neurobiological cause.

Other Types

Other types of sexual dysfunction includes:

  • Orgasm disorders – this is where there is absence of orgasms with usual sexual excitement.
  • Sexual pain disorders – these are things that affect women, and cause sex to be painful. They can be caused by menopause, pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • Post-orgasmic diseases – these are things that happen post orgasm, and may include things like anxiety or headaches.
  • Pelvic floor dysfunctions – this is impairment of the pelvic floor muscles, but can usually be treated by using certain devices like duotone balls.

Causes of sexual dysfunction

There are many different types of things that could affect a person who is experiencing sexual dysfunction. This may be emotional factors like interpersonal or psychological problems. These could be a result of depression or past sexual trauma.

Sexual dysfunctions are especially common among people who have anxiety.

The use of drugs and alcohol can also heavily impact sexual dysfunctions. Using recreational drugs, smoking and drinking can all have a negative impact on your sexual health.

If you have any more questions on sexual dysfunction then please feel free to contact us and one of our sex educators will be more than happy to get back to you.

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