Sexual health often causes disturbances in psychological health. Sexual health is a part of Neuropsychiatry, as a majority of sexual disorders are secondary to disturbances in psychological health. Sexual dysfunction (or sexual malfunction or sexual disorder) is difficulty experienced by an individual or a couple during any stage of a normal sexual activity, including physical pleasure, desire, preference, arousal or orgasm.
Sexual Desire Disorders: (Decreased Libido)
These are characterized by a lack/absence of sexual desire/libido for sexual activity or of sexual fantasies. The condition ranges from a general lack of sexual desire to a lack of sexual desire for the current partner. The condition may have started after a period of normal sexual functioning or the person may always have had no/low sexual desire.
Sexual Arousal Disorders
For both men and women, these conditions can manifest themselves as an aversion to, and avoidance of, sexual contact with a partner. In men, there may be partial or complete failure to attain or maintain an erection, or a lack of sexual excitement and pleasure in sexual activity.
Erectile dysfunction or impotence is a sexual dysfunction characterized by the inability to develop or maintain an erection of the penis.
Premature ejaculation is when ejaculation occurs before the partner achieves orgasm, or a mutually satisfactory length of time has passed during intercourse.
These include persistent delays or absence of orgasm following a normal sexual excitement phase in at least 75 percent of sexual encounters.
Sexual Pain Disorders
Sexual pain disorders affect women almost exclusively and are also known as dyspareunia (painful intercourse) or vaginismus (an involuntary spasm of the muscles of the vaginal wall that interferes with intercourse). Dyspareunia may be caused by insufficient lubrication (vaginal dryness) in women. Poor lubrication may result from insufficient excitement and stimulation, or from hormonal changes.
Post-coital tristesse (PCT) is a feeling of melancholy and anxiety after sexual intercourse that lasts for up to two hours. Sexual headaches occur in the skull and neck during sexual activity, including masturbation or orgasm. In men, postorgasmic illness syndrome (POIS) causes severe muscle pain throughout the body and other symptoms immediately following ejaculation, lasting for up to a week.
Dhat syndrome, another condition that occurs in men, is a culture-bound syndrome which causes anxious and dysphoric mood after sex / masturbation. Dhat is a folk diagnostic term used in India to refer to anxiety and hypochondriacal concerns associated with the discharge of semen, with discoloration of the urine, and feelings of weakness and exhaustion.
Hypoactive sexual desire disorder, Sexual aversion disorder
Female sexual arousal disorder, Male erectile disorder
Female orgasmic disorder, Male orgasmic disorder
Premature ejaculation, Dyspareunia
Sexual dissatisfaction (non-specific), Lack of sexual desire
Delay or absence of ejaculation, despite adequate stimulation
Inability to control timing of ejaculation
Inability to relax vaginal muscles enough to allow intercourse
Inadequate vaginal lubrication preceding and during intercourse
Unhappiness or confusion related to sexual orientation
Transsexual and transgender people may have sexual problems before or after surgery.
Persistent sexual arousal syndrome
Sexual addiction, Hypersexuality
Post-orgasmic diseases, such as Dhat syndrome, post-coital tristesse (PCT), postorgasmic illness syndrome (POIS), and sexual headache.
A thorough sexual history and assessment of general health and other sexual problems (if any) are very important. Assessing (performance) anxiety, guilt, stress and worry are integral to the optimal management of sexual dysfunction. Pharmacotherapy, psychotherapy, or a combination of both are then implemented for amelioration
Fortunately, the growing awareness of mental health and illnesses has created a positive environment and lessened the stigma attached to these illnesses which are really biological.
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