Sexual Dysfunction - Causes and Treatments
Author: Dr Helen Webberley
Date: Jun 2015
Sexual dysfunction is a common problem, yet many people are too embarrassed to seek help, which can cause a lot of heartache for them and also in their relationships. Here, we discuss the common forms of sexual dysfunction, and explain how they can be treated, in order to clarify any myths, and educate patents on the help available.
Sexual Dysfunction in Men
It is estimated that 1 in 10 males suffers with some form of sexual dysfunction. It is much more common a problem than most people think. Erectile dysfunction (ED, impotence), when a man cannot get, or maintain, an erection can have various causes. Psychological causes tend to affect younger males and can include nerves, stress and even over thinking getting an erection. More serious psychological problems about sex will need the help of a psychosexual therapist.
Physical causes of erectile dysfunction include medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, raised blood pressure and low testosterone. Certain medications can also cause impotence. Consumption of alcohol, recreational drugs and smoking can also be a factor.
If you suffer with erectile dysfunction you should ask for help. It is important to get checked out for other problems which may be happening at the same time. Psychological issues can be addressed, and physical causes checked out.
Medical treatments for erectile dysfunction can be very safe and come in tablets, creams, injections and pellets.
For men with low testosterone, hormone replacement therapy can be used alongside erection-helping drugs to treat impotence.
Premature ejaculation can be caused by over-excitement, an acute sensitivity of the local nervous system, anxiety and stress.
A psychosexual therapist can help men who suffer premature ejaculation to learn techniques to try and delay ejaculation. There are creams which can be applied to the penis to dull the sensation, but this can often transfer to their partner too. Some men find condoms help and also squeezing the penis to prevent ejaculation. Certain anti-depressant drugs are also licensed to help treat premature ejaculation.
Sexual Dysfunction in Women
Many women may find it difficult to reach orgasm on a regular basis; this is referred to as anorgasmia. Anorgasmia can be caused by aging, illness, pregnancy, gynaecological surgeries and medication. Psychological issues such as stress, depression and relationship troubles can also play a role. Talk to your GP; treatments include cognitive therapy and lifestyle changes. There currently are no approved drug treatments for anorgasmia.
Low libido, or sex drive, is a common problem which affects many women. It can cause tension in relationships and low self-confidence. A low or diminished libido can be caused by many psychological factors such as aging, stress, depression, exhaustion and relationship problems. Certain medications, such as the contraceptive pill or anti-depressants, can also cause a loss of libido. If you are finding a loss of libido is causing you problems in your relationship then talk to your doctor. He can refer you for therapy treatment or look at changing any medications you are taking.
There are many different forms of sexual dysfunction, and seeing a professional about your worries shouldn’t be embarrassing. If you’re struggling with sexual dysfunction in any form, seeking treatment could transform your relationship and really be a real weight off your shoulders.
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Next review: 3 June 2020