Sexual dysfunction

Specialty of Psychology

Sexual dysfunction is a difficulty experienced by both males and females during any stage of normal sexual activity.

What is it?

A sexual dysfunction or disorder is a difficulty in normal sexual activity. It can be a decrease or loss of libido or sex drive, difficulty in performing sexual intercourse (vaginismus, dyspareunia and erectile dysfunction) or orgasm disorders, such as premature ejaculation, persistent delays or absence of orgasm.

What are the symptoms of a sexual dysfunction?

Sexual dysfunction shows different signs in men and women. Men can experience erectile dysfunction, a decrease or loss of libido and sex drive, ejaculation problems and low testosterone levels. Women can experience pain during sexual intercourse, anorgasmia or lack of libido.

How is it diagnosed?

The diagnosis for a sexual dysfunction will change according to the specific dysfunction. In some cases you may have to go for a gynaecological examination or an andrological examination, while in other cases you may need to go for psychological therapy or counselling.

What causes it?

Sexual dysfunctions can be caused by physical or psychological factors. However, even if the underlying causes and triggers are of psychological nature, it is still necessary to rule out any potential physical causes with specific tests and examinations.

How is it treated?

The treatment will vary according to the specific sexual dysfunction you’re suffering from. For example, in case of erectile dysfunction, you may need to see an andrologist, who will help you understand if the cause for the dysfunction is physical or psychological. In case of vaginismus, you may consider undergoing sex therapy or consider the option of surgery.

Which doctor should I talk to?

If you’re suffering from a sexual dysfunction, you can talk to a psychiatrist, gynaecologist, andrologist, or urologist.

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