Sexual dysfunction is a disorder that restrain the individual or couple from undergoing sexual satisfaction during any phase of the sexual response cycle. Excitement, orgasm, plateau and resolution are the cycles of sexual response. Research suggested that sexual dysfunction is common, 43 Percent of women and 31 percent of men reported to have limit in experiencing sexual satisfaction. People are less likely to discuss this topic because they are shy or wants to please their partner or because treatment options are available. Sexual dysfunction can affect any age, but it is more common in adults above 40 due to decline in health related issues normally associated with ageing.

Sexual dysfunction is classified into four categories :

Desire disorder – There is hypoactive sexual desire thus decrease or absence. It could also be a complete aversion to all sexual contact.

Arousal disorder – Arousal consists of a sense of sexual pleasure with accompany physiological change. Persistent failure to achieve this before or during sexual intercourse is known as arousal disorder.

Orgasm disorder – During orgasm sexual tension is released and contraction are produced in various organs, persistent or recurrent inability to achieve an orgasms either through masturbation or sexual intercourse is an orgasm disorder known as female orgasmic. There is also premature orgasmic which is ejaculation before the man wishes to do so, before penetration or just after penetration.

Pain – Subjective sense of pain associated with sexual action are likely to be due to dynamic factors . Dyspareunia is pain associated with sexual intercourse in either male or female which is not due to any underlying disease.

Sexual dysfunction can have causes that are not due to any underlying disease or vice versa.

The psychological cause includes depression, stress and anxiety, feeling of guilt, relationship and marital problems, negative feeling about spouse.

Physical causes or medical conditions related to sexual dysfunction includes diabetes, hormonal imbalance, chronic diseases such as liver failure, alcoholism, abuse of drugs such as antidepressant drugs, neurological disorders, heart and vascular disease, inflammation of the vagina and pelvics, erectile dysfunction, trauma to the sexual organ, vaginismus which is the involuntary constriction of the muscles around the vagina this causes pain in response to penetration, inadequate lubrication.

Sexual dysfunction can be treated by individual psychotherapy to address issues such as feeling of guilt, poor self -esteem, anxiety, fear or consider pharmacotherapy such as antidepressant drugs (SSRIs) .There could be also couple therapy to resolve conflict if sexual dysfunction is due to marital conflict. Medications that cause vagina dryness, such as antihistamines and anticholinergies should be evaluated. Postage stamp or plethysmoorgraphy could be considered.

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Miss Calvary Antwi.

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