Sexuality refers to your inherent capacity to experience pleasure from sexual activity and is not limited to intercourse. Sexual dysfunction is present if you are experiencing challenges related to wanting or enjoying sexual activity. It’s important to note that sexual dysfunction is not synonymous with asexuality. It can happen to people of all ages although the likelihood of experiencing increases with age.
Research has it that 43% of women and 31% of men experience some challenges around experiencing sexual satisfaction from sexual activity. Here are the different types and causes of sexual dysfunction and disorders.
General sexual disorders
This is the most commonly reported sexual dysfunction. It is characterized by low sexual interest or desire.
The focus on this one is on the physical inability to become aroused. The person may emotionally be in the mood, but their body just won’t rise to the occasion.
This is characterized by a delay or absence of orgasms. The person may be emotionally in the mood but experience an inability to climax leaving them frustrated.
This involves experiencing pain during intercourse.
Male-specific sexual disorders
This refers to sexual dysfunction that only affects men. They include:
Premature or early-ejaculation: this occurs when a man ejaculates sooner than he or his partner would like during intercourse. It’s a really common sexual dysfunction with as many as 1 in 3 men reporting they have experienced it at some point.
Delayed ejaculation: in this case, the man has trouble reaching ejaculation or it takes him longer than usual or longer than they would like to ejaculate.
Erectile disorder (ED) or erectile dysfunction: this sexual dysfunction refers to the inability to get or maintain an erection that is firm enough for sexual intercourse or other satisfying sexual activity. Health: The Underlying Causes Of Erectile Dysfunction
Male hypoactive sexual desire disorder (MHSDD): is defined as persistent or recurrently deficient sexual or erotic thoughts, fantasies or desire for sexual activity.
Female-specific sexual disorders
This refers to sexual dysfunction that only affects women. They include:
Female orgasmic disorder: this is defined as reduced intensity, delay, infrequency, and/or absence of orgasm.
Female sexual interest/arousal disorder (FSIAD): this sexual dysfunction is defined as lack of, or significantly reduced sexual interest or arousal.
Genito-pelvic pain/penetration disorder: this is also referred to as sexual pain disorder. It refers to the extreme discomfort or pain experienced by women while attempting to or engaging in intercourse.
Causes of sexual dysfunction
Sexual disorders can be caused by a variety of physical and psychological causes.
Certain physical causes like illness can trigger sexual dysfunction. They include:
- Hormonal imbalance e.g., during menopause
- Urological infections or cancer
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure
- Drug abuse
- Neurological disorders
- Nerve damage
- Chronic diseases like kidney or liver failure
- A side-effect of medication including antidepressants and birth control pills
Psychological and social causes
For many people, sexual dysfunction is psychologically induced. This includes things like:
- Concern about sexual performance
- Feeling of guilt about sexual desire and activity
- Relationship problems
- Anxiety and/or depression
- Self-esteem or body image issues
- Effects of past sexual trauma or a negative sexual experience
- Cultural and religious issues
If you are afraid you may have sexual dysfunction, you need to speak to your doctor. Treatment depends on the specific type of dysfunction and its cause.
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