Individuals suffering from sexual dysfunction have no interest in sexual activity and when having intercourse they do not enjoy the act (Wincze & Carey, 2012). Sexual dysfunction may happen at any given moment from the beginning of the sexual activity to orgasm. Sexual dysfunction affects both women and men of all ages. However, as individuals become older the chances of having sexual dysfunction increase (Wincze & Carey, 2012). Stress causes sexual dysfunction. When a person is overwhelmed and fatigued, it is impossible to be aroused or feel sexy. Psychological matters and sexual trauma can result in sexual dysfunction (Wincze & Carey, 2012). Other factors that can lead to sexual dysfunction are the use of alcohol and drugs, or medical conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. This paper explores sexual dysfunctions including the types, causes, symptoms and diagnosis.
There are four types of sexual dysfunction: pain disorders, orgasm disorders, arousal disorders, and desire disorders (Wincze & Carey, 2012). Pain disorders occur commonly in women during sexual activity as a result of insufficient lubrication of the vagina (Basson, 2005). Normally, contraceptives, anxiety to engage in sex, lack of stimulation, menopause, breastfeeding, and pregnancy are the common causes of pain disorder in women (Basson, 2005). Other conditions resulting in sexual discomfort disorders include vaginismus, a situation where the vaginal wall muscles contract unwillingly throughout sexual activity. Usually, when a person suffers from sexual trauma like assault or abuse, they encounter contraction (Basson, 2005). In men sexual pain disorder is known as priapism. An individual gets a painful erection in the absence of sexual stimulation that last for hours (Hatzimouratidis, et al., 2010). It is a result of blood accumulating in the penis and failing to drain properly. Lack of medication can lead to unending failure of erectile function.
Orgasm disorders are another sexual dysfunction category. Some prescription, sickness, and physical factors can result in orgasm disorders. People suffering from orgasm disorder fail to achieve climax (Hatzimouratidis, et al., 2010). Another category is sexual arousal disorders that include impotence in men and frigidity in women though these terms are no longer being used. People with the sexual arousal disorder have a tendency of avoiding sexual contact with their spouses (Wincze & Carey, 2012). Men fail to erect or find no pleasure in sexual activity, and women fail to become lubricated. Sexual desire disorders are another category of sexual dysfunction due to low libido (Basson, 2005). Low testosterone hormone in men and estrogen hormone in women causes lack of sexual desire. The disorder may develop after several normal sexual functions or may have existed for some time. Other factors causing sexual desire disorder include certain medications like selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, anxiety, depression, pregnancy, and old age (Camacho & Reyes-Ortiz, 2005).
Sexual dysfunction affects adults of any age, both women and men. However, individuals who are over 40 years are vulnerable to sexual problems since it is related to deteriorating health coupled with aging (Camacho & Reyes-Ortiz, 2005). Symptoms of sexual problems in women might occur at any age. During menopause and after pregnancy hormones in women reduce leading to sexual dysfunctions. Diseases like cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel disease), diabetes, and cancer increase sexual problems concern (Camacho & Reyes-Ortiz, 2005). Females having sexual dysfunction experience lack of interest to engage in sexual activity. They also do not become aroused and maybe cannot maintain arousal in spite having the desire to have sexual intercourse (Basson, 2005). They also cannot experience orgasm. Females who feel pain during intercourse also suffer from sexual problems. Women incapable to relax the vaginal muscle enough to allow sexual contact suffer from sexual dysfunctions (Basson, 2005). Women lack plenty vaginal lubrication before and during intercourse.
In men, sexual dysfunction symptoms occur when an individual is unable to keep an erection for intercourse (Hatzimouratidis, et al., 2010). The symptoms are visible in various ways if the dysfunction appears occasionally, and might not likely be serious. Most men encounter erection problems one time in their lives (Hatzimouratidis, et al., 2010). If the problem develops little by little and persistently, it is because of physical cause as witnessed with chronic erectile problem. If the dysfunction develops suddenly and one is capable to erect while masturbating and still have early-morning erections, the dysfunction is likely to have a psychological component, maybe because of physical factor (Wincze & Carey, 2012). Sexual dysfunction in both women and men include pain during sexual activity when they are incapable to be aroused by both a partner and lack of interest in engaging in sexual contact (Wincze & Carey, 2012). It is essential for individuals to seek medical attention if sexual dysfunctions affect their relationship and disturb the peace of mind. A visit to the doctor for evaluation helps clear up misinformation that mostly worsens sexual dysfunctions.
Causes of sexual problems in women include various factors which need psychological and physical stimulation (Basson, 2005). The causes of female sexual problems are stress, negative body perception, illness, distraction and emotional complications, depression, anxiety, and alcohol. Research shows two different medical perspectives on causes of sexual problems in women (Basson, 2005). First, the vascular theory: this occurs when blood flow to the pelvic region reduces. Blood flow decreases because of impairs arousal, dryness and reduced sensitivity of the clitoris, hypoactive sexual desire, stress, aging, and medical condition (Basson, 2005). The diminished blood flow occurs due to medical conditions that include atherosclerosis and diabetes. This concept has encouraged various researches and as a result, there is an introduction of topical creams that cause vascular dilation when applied on the clitoris (Basson, 2005). Hence vascular congestion and blood flow throughout the excitement stage increase. Therefore, sensitivity is increased (Basson, 2005).
Second, hormone theory that concentrates on decreased level of sex hormones that include testosterone and estrogen (Camacho & Reyes-Ortiz, 2005). Frequently, they occur as a result of old age. Hormone replacement therapy in other female results in increased sexual desire. Reduced estrogen in women leads to lack of sexual desire, impaired sensitivity due to hysterectomy, and nonexistence of sexual fantasies. Third, dissatisfaction theory, which is not medical or psychological. The majority of women sexual dysfunctions are caused by inadequate genital stimulation (Basson, 2005). Given that young adults in good health experience sexual problems has proved this theory. Lack of communication makes men not be aware of where to touch to arouse a female partner (Basson, 2005). On the other hand, male sexual dysfunctions are caused by aging. Older men can probably develop diseases like angina, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, and heart attacks, making them suffer from erectile dysfunction more often than younger men (Camacho & Reyes-Ortiz, 2005). Low testosterone levels that are a primary sex hormone in men not necessarily play the role of sex drive and help to maintain nitric oxide levels in the penis. Nevertheless, men with low testosterone production encounter erectile dysfunction and low sex drive (Hatzimouratidis, et al., 2010).
Sexual dysfunction is diagnosed when people realize a problem interfering with their sexual excitement. Doctors will start with a complete history of a physical condition and symptoms (Wincze & Carey, 2012). A test will be carried out to diagnose any medical problems that may be leading to the dysfunction (Wincze & Carey, 2012). In this case lab tests are unimportant, instead evaluation of a person’s attitude to sex will be conducted together with other contributing factors such as fear, past sexual trauma, anxiety, medications, relationship concerns, and drug and alcohol use. These will ease the understanding of the cause of sexual dysfunction and recommendation of suitable treatment (Wincze & Carey, 2012). In addition, sexual dysfunctions can be managed by treating the underlying psychological and physical problems. Other treatments include change in medication for cases where medication is the problem (Wincze & Carey, 2012). Mechanical aids including penile implants and vacuum devices help male with erectile problems and dilators for female to help those with narrowing of vagina (Wincze & Carey, 2012). Sex therapy through therapists is also helpful to couples going through sexual dysfunctions.
In conclusion, it is evident that sexual dysfunction affects adults of all ages. The affected persons lose interest in sexual contact. Most sexual dysfunctions types include desire disorders, arousal disorders, orgasm disorders, and pain disorders. They include lack of sexual desire, not being capable of excitement during sexual contact, lack of orgasm or delay in reaching climax and pain during sexual activity respectively. All ages can be affected by sexual dysfunction. Causes of sexual problems alcohol and drug use, stress, medication, sickness, anxiety, depression, and emotional problems. Diagnosing a patient through knowing a person’s past sexual trauma like abuse, feelings about sex, medication, and anxiety will help a physician know the cause of the problem. Therefore a good treatment can be recommended.