A sexual problem or sexual dysfunction is any physical or psychological problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the person or couple from getting sexual satisfaction. The sexual response cycle has four phases: excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution. Both men and women are affected by sexual problems. Sexual response involves a complex interplay of physiology, emotions, experiences, beliefs, lifestyle and relationships. Disruption of any component can affect sexual desire, arousal or satisfaction and treatment often involves more than one approach.
Lack of sexual desire, sexual fantasies, or interest in sexual contact.
Inability to have or maintain an erection sufficient for sexual penetration.
Inability to reach an orgasm despite adequate sexual stimulation and signs of arousal.
Ability to achieve orgasm only after an unusually lengthy period of stimulation.
Ability to achieve orgasm only during masturbation or during oral sex.
Ability to achieve orgasm only in situations that are considered bizarre or taboo.
Difficulty controlling the timing of orgasm and ejaculation.
Lack of ejaculation.
Persistent erection unassociated with sexual desire.
Difficulty in becoming sexually aroused.
Most types of sexual dysfunction can be corrected by treating the underlying physical or psychological problem. Successful treatment often includes different elements, such as:
Medication: When a medication is the cause of the dysfunction, a change in the medication may help. Men and women with hormone deficiencies may benefit from hormone shots, pills, or creams.
Sex therapy: Sex therapists can be very helpful to couples experiencing a sexual problem that cannot be addressed by their primary clinician.
Behavioral treatments: These involve various techniques, including insights into harmful behaviors in the relationship, or techniques such as self-stimulation for treatment of problems with arousal and/or orgasm.
Psychotherapy: Therapy with a trained counselor can help a person address sexual trauma from the past, feelings of anxiety, fear, or guilt, and poor body image, all of which may have an impact on current sexual function.
Education and communication: Education about sex and sexual behaviors and responses may help an individual overcome his or her anxieties about sexual functionBook an Appointment