Sexual Dysfunction

Broadly defined, sexual dysfunction is the general inability to enjoy sexual intercourse. Many times, sexual dysfunctions are classified as primary (lifelong) or secondary (acquired after established normal sexual function) and may be generalized (not limited to certain situations or partners). Sexual dysfunction is often viewed as a male problem, but in fact, may affect many women as well. The 3 major subtypes are:

the inability to attain or maintain an erection for sexual intercourse. This problem can be either psychological or physiological and may result from inadequate blood flow or anxiety.

Sexual aversion disorder:
the inhibition of sexual arousal and excitement. Possible causes may be hormonal imbalances or even stress.

Sexual dysfunction:
the general inability to enjoy sexual intercourse. May be due to general medical conditions, substance-induced factors (alcohol, drug use or cigarette smoking), depression or anxiety, gender and age (males age 65 and above), stressful life events or vascular surgery. Complications of sexual dysfunction may include: impotence, pain during intercourse, lack or loss of sexual desire, difficulty achieving orgasm, relationship problems and personality disorders.

There are a number of psychological factors that may affect one's physical ability to engage in sexual intercourse without problems. Anger, fear, guilt, depression and anxiety, along with interpersonal issues such as marital discord and boredom, may all play roles in sexual dysfunction cases. These conditions may influence the nervous system and might affect elements such as blood flow, hormone balance and more. Many treatment options are available, ranging from hormone replacement therapy to surgical implants and various oral medications. Some traditional options, while helping provide temporary relief, may contribute to serious side effects.

Alternative therapies for the treatment of secondary sexual dysfunction are currently being researched by the medical community.

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