Sexual health is defined as a state of physical, emotional, psychological and social wellbeing connected to sexuality. It is not just the absence of illness. It is also having a positive approach to sex. Without prejudice, coercion or violence.
Sexual problems include all possible difficulties that may occur during the sexual act that prevent or make it more difficult for partners to experience satisfaction from it. This type of a problem may occur in both men and women.
Most common sexual problems (sexual dysfunctions) are:
Lack or absence of sexual desire
Lack or absence sexual desire is the most commonly diagnosed syndrome when it comes to sexual problems.
It is characterized by:
- weak libido,
- loss of sexual excitement, and
- loss of interest for sexual activity.
Person suffering from this kind of a problem doesn’t seek sexual pleasure, nor fantasizes. This condition occurs in both women and men and it’s manifested in various ways. The condition can be caused since the first sexual experiences or occur later in life.
Sexual aversion also occurs in both women and men. Owing to the specific nature of the relationship between partners, phobias or negative emotions, a person develops disgust for the partner and sexual intercourse, avoiding all types of sexual behavior. There are various types of sexual phobias that may cause this kind of a problem. Fear of genitals, fear of touching breasts, fear of kissing, fear of nudity, fear of penetration, etc.
Substance or medication induced sexual dysfunction
Sexual problems induced by substance or medication use are completely conditioned by physiological mechanisms. The symptoms are dependent on:
- duration of substance or medication use,
- the dose
- level of addiction
- level of body intoxication.
This condition occurs most often in combination with the use of antidepressants, mood stabilizers, antipsychotic and antihypertensive medication. Sexual problems can be also caused by the abuse of various substances, alcohol or excessive smoking.
Common female sexual problems
Frigidity is sexual arousal dysfunction in women. Women suffering from this condition experience persistent or recurrent, partial or full inability to attain or maintain sexual arousal.
The disorder can be present from the beginning of woman’s first sexual contact or it can occur later in life. Also it be tied to specific situations or occur in all situations.
The causes for this condition are various and it isn’t unusual for it to be accompanied with other psychiatric disorders.
Female orgasmic disorder
This disorder occurs in sexually active women that express sexual desire, enjoy foreplay and intercourse, but are not able to, or have difficulties achieving orgasm.
The causes for the disorder can be either of psychological or physical nature, or both.
Sexual problems typical of men
Erectile dysfunction is a persistent, occasional or recurrent inability to get and maintain erection, which prevents a man from successfully having a sexual intercourse. Some men aren’t able to get an erection at all, others lose it during foreplay or just before the intercourse. And some ejaculate before even achieving erection.
This condition occurs in both young and physically healthy individuals, as well as older men that previously haven’t experienced such problems. Causes for erectile dysfunction are either psychological or physical.
Male orgasmic dysfunction
Male orgasmic dysfunction manifests itself in several ways – delayed ejaculation, delayed ejaculation and inhibited orgasm. It is considered that most common causes are of psychological nature, but many physical factors influence development of this condition. Use of antidepressants (serotonergic drugs) can be one of the causes of this disorder.
It is necessary that the client and their partner determine in which phase of the sexual intercourse the problem occurs (arousal, orgasm).
If the problem is the sexual desire or aversion towards sex, next step would be to determine possible causes: partners not being in tune with each other, problems with gender identity or sexual orientation, negative attitude towards sexual activity, previous experiences of sexual abuse, problems with self-image.
Regarding other sexual disorders, such as trouble achieving orgasm or erection, it should be examined if the condition could be connected to possible drug or alcohol abuse, previous sexual experiences, psychological or other causes of stress. Sexual therapist could help the couple recreate their intimate connection. Sometimes educating partners on how to give pleasure to each other is needed.
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