Although many men and women experience problems with sexual performance, very few people stop to consider that they may, in fact, have a diagnosable sexual health problem. The definition of a sexual problem can include any condition which results in decreased sexual performance, pain or irritation in the genital regions or a decrease in fertility levels. Because of this broad definition, the majority of problems experienced by individuals on a daily basis are both identifiable and treatable. Physicians have developed a broad base ¬of support and treatment for sexual health problems experienced by a large majority of Americans.
Sexual Problem Categories
Sexual problems can be placed into one of several distinctive categories: sexual desire disorders, sexual arousal disorders, orgasm disorders, sexual pain disorders and fertility disorders.
What Are Sexual Desire Disorders?
Also referred to as inhibited sexual desire, sexual desire disorders cause abnormally low levels of procreative urges in both men and women. Although a variety of external factors can result in sexual desire disorders, the root of these problems are most often found in hormonal imbalances. The body’s hormones act as powerful chemical messengers, spreading important information related to normal physiological functions all around the body. For men, decreased testosterone levels, which can occur as a result of aging or increased stress, are directly related to reduce libido, a condition which is synonymous to sexual desire disorders. Women who are approaching their 40’s and 50’s undergo significant hormonal changes as a result of menopause. Decrease levels of estrogen and progesterone will significantly reduce desire for sex and physical intimacy.
What Are Sexual Arousal Disorders?
Sexual arousal disorders are also common in both males and females, and reduce the likelihood of sexual intercourse. In men, one of the most iconic manifestations of sexual arousal disorders is impotence, also referred to as erectile dysfunction.
What Is Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction occurs when men are unable to sustain an erection long enough for sex or climax. This can result in a range of subsequent issues, such as negative emotional stress and the inability to successfully impregnate a female. Erectile dysfunction is surprisingly common, as men over 40 are 40% likely to experience varying degrees of impotence as they age. Over 10 million men in the United States experience erectile dysfunction on an annual basis. Although occasional erection problems can be expected, impotence is commonly diagnosed when males are unable to achieve erection over an extended period of time.
What Are Orgasm Disorders?
In similar fashion to sexual arousal disorders, orgasm disorders affect both men and women, albeit in slightly different ways. Women experiencing orgasms disorders may find it difficult or impossible to achieve an orgasm during sex. Unlike male orgasm disorders, however, these problems do not directly influence fertility, as a women is not required to achieve orgasm in order to become pregnant. These problems can occur as a result of a wide variety of problems, ranging from psychological issues and concerns about sex as well as nerve disorders in the vaginal region.
Men experiencing orgasm disorders will typically suffer from one of three scenarios. Premature ejaculation is commonly diagnosed as a man’s inability to engage in sex or masturbatory actions for an extended period of time without ejaculating. Although this does not directly affect fertility, it can cause a range of emotional and psychological problems related to concepts of sexual performance and sexual satisfaction for intimate partners. Delayed orgasm is yet another orgasm disorder affecting men, and is defined as a man’s inability to achieve orgasm and subsequent ejaculation in a normal period of time. As prolonged sex may prove to be painful for women, delayed orgasm can cause a range of performance fears as well as decreased chances for pregnancy during unprotected sex.
Dry orgasm, or the inability to ejaculate semen during orgasms, is often caused by a range of physical factors, including increased pressure on the penile tubes as well as excessive orgasm frequency. For men over 40, Dry orgasms may be a sign of retrograde ejaculation disorders, in which semen is expelled into the bladder as opposed to out of the penis. For men who may have previously had prostate surgery or radiation therapy, doctors can help to determine whether their dry orgasms are a result of this particular medical condition.
What Are Sexual Pain Disorders?
For women, sexual arousal disorders often result in vaginal dryness and muscle contractions that make sexual intercourse painful and uncomfortable. Although women may inherently contain a normal sex drive, their body’s inability to prepare the vagina for sex makes intercourse a difficult endeavor.
What Are Uncommon Sexual Disorders In Men?
Less common sexual disorders for men include testicular torsion, the twisting of the testicle tubes, as well as genetic problems affecting sperm count and functionality.
What Are Causes of Sexual Problems?
As men and women age, their ability to engage in healthy, normal sex decreases over time. This is primarily related to hormone levels in both genders. As men age, their testosterone levels begin to decrease. This hormone is directly linked to sexual arousal and performance, and its absence lead to sexual dysfunction. For women, the situation is largely the same. The body’s decreased production of estrogen will eventually culminate in a loss of libido and reduction in the functionality of the vagina, making it less suitable for sex.
List of Sexual Disorders
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), common sexual problems linked to psychiatric illness include erectile dysfunction, exhibitionism (the urge to expose genital regions to unfamiliar people), fetishism (specific focus on a certain niche in order to augment sexual pleasure) and voyeurism (the urge to observe others engaging in intimate acts), among others. Although some of these problems focus exclusively on abnormal behaviors resulting in increased physical arousal, sexual issues such as erectile dysfunction can directly culminate in the inability to engage in rewarding sex or procreation.
Treatment for Males
Both men and women can benefit from a range of treatment options for their sexual problems. For those suffering from sexual desire disorders, hormone supplements can be used to return the body’s sex hormones to normal levels, increasing the desire for physical intimacy. For men experiencing sexual arousal disorders, a thorough understanding of the problem is first necessary to create an effective treatment remedy. Depending upon the individual in question, pharmaceutical treatments, surgical processes and emotional counseling can help return men to normal levels of sexual performance.
Treatment for Females
For women who may be experiencing difficulty in achieving adequate levels of arousal, both psychological counseling and medical treatment can ensure that women do not experience unwanted pain or discomfort during vaginal penetration. Both men and women can suffer from sexual health problems as a result of previous traumatic experiences. Through compassionate counseling, individuals of both genders can resolve issues that may be causing them to withdraw or refrain from sexual intimacy. These issues are just as real and relevant as physical sexual performance problems, and are treated as such by trained professionals.
What Is Hormone Replacement Therapy?
For individuals who may be experiencing sexual disorders as a result of low testosterone or estrogen levels, there are a wide range of solutions, both pharmaceutical and natural, that can be used to restore the balance of these powerful chemical messengers.
Thanks to the extensive research and attention applied to sexual health problems, individuals can find the treatment they need for their particular disorders in an expedient fashion. Although some conditions, such as genetic disorders resulting in infertility, do not provide for simple treatment plans, the majority of people afflicted by male sexual health problems can quickly take proactive steps to improve their own health.
Honest communication and trusting relationships with doctors and intimate partners are a beneficial foundation for improved male sexual health. Depending upon your particular sexual disorder, you can find a collection of available treatment plans, some of which may be particularly suited for your body or age group.