WHAT IS SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION?
Sexual dysfunction, also referred to as psychosexual dysfunction, is a condition that interferes with an individual’s ability to experience an enjoyable, healthy sex life. Sufferers may be unable to experience sexual arousal; they may also find that sexual satisfaction is difficult (or impossible) even under positive and appropriate conditions.
Although physical factors can cause sexual dysfunction, it is most commonly the product of psychological/emotional challenges.
COMMON SYMPTOMS OF SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION
Sexual dysfunction can appear in a broad range of forms, and is a condition that can affect both male and female patients. Even patients who may have previously had a positive experience with sexual health can encounter sexual dysfunction later in life due to various factors.
The signs of sexual dysfunction vary depending on the individual, with common types of sexual dysfunction including:
- Hyposexuality, in which a person struggles to experience sexual arousal
- Anorgasmia, in which a female patient is unable to achieve sexual satisfaction despite appropriate conditions
- Vaginismus, a condition in which a female patient’s vaginal muscles respond to intercourse with strong muscle contractions, making the experience difficult or virtually impossible
- Dyspareunia, in which a female patient experiences severe pain during intercourse
- Erectile impotence, in which a male patient is unable to achieve or sustain an erection
- Ejaculatory impotence, in which a male patient finds it difficult to achieve sexual satisfaction during intercourse
- Premature ejaculation, in which a male patient experiences frustration at “early” ejaculation
DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT OF SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION
In most sexual dysfunction cases, the root cause is tied to negative emotions or anxiety about the act of intercourse, their partner, or the patient’s self. Sometimes, there are challenges related to emotional conflicts within the relationship or past trauma that impede an individual’s perception of and experience with sex.
Common emotional or psychological causes of sexual dysfunction include:
Body image or self-esteem issues
Feelings of guilt
Elevate Psychiatry works closely with patients to pinpoint the causes of sexual dysfunction, assessing both physical and psychological factors that may be contributing. Once these factors have been identified, we can proceed with a tailored treatment plan that may include:
Therapy and counseling
Diagnosis and treatment of related mental health conditions, if applicable
Referrals to physicians for treatment of physical factors, if necessary