Sexual dysfunction is best described as a problem that happens at any time during your sexual response cycle. It prevents you from experiencing satisfactory intercourse or getting pleasure from sexual activity. Usually, a male sexual response cycle has four stages – excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution. A female sexual response cycle does not necessarily follow the same phases.  Research suggests that sexual dysfunction is a common condition. But due to the stigma around it, people do not discuss it freely. Most couples either spend their lives in sexless marriages or divorce due to this problem. It is essential to understand that it is possible to treat sexual dysfunctions in most cases. If you or your partner feel that they may be experiencing sexual problems – talk to your doctor.

Here is some essential information about sexual dysfunctions to help you know more about the problem and discuss it better. 

Types of Sexual dysfunction and How to Address Them 

The following is a description of the common sexual problems in men and women and how to address them – 

  1. Premature or Delayed Ejaculation – Premature ejaculation is an orgasm disorder wherein a man experiences an orgasm too soon in intercourse. It leads to dissatisfaction for both partners during intercourse. Doctors recommend the ‘stop-start’ technique. It refers to a sensate-focus method in which a man stimulates himself. Just before the ejaculation is inevitable, he stops the stimulation and allows the urge to diminish. He can continue stimulating until the next urge occurs and stop again to delay the ejaculation. Couples can incorporate this technique in their intercourse.
    On the other hand, delayed ejaculation is treated differently. In some cases, delayed ejaculation is related to infertility issues, and it is recommended that you seek a doctor’s advice. One of the methods to treat delayed ejaculation is to use super-stimulation of the penis through self-stimulation and later by mutual stimulation by your partner. After that, you may try insertion at the moment of ejaculation. 
  2. Erectile Dysfunction – Erectile dysfunction refers to the inability of a man to get an erection when sexually aroused. It can be classified as an arousal dysfunction, and there are a variety of recommended treatments for this. Medicines such as phosphodiesterase type-5 or PDE-5 inhibitors can help erectile dysfunction. These medicines increase the likelihood of a strong erectile response to sexual stimulation. Men who are sensitive to PDE-5 inhibitors may be recommended vacuum pumps. 
  3. Vaginismus – An involuntary tensing of the vaginal muscles is called vaginismus. It makes penetration difficult and painful for both partners. Doctors recommend using vaginal trainers or fingers with lubricating gel to relax the vaginal muscles and achieve penetration. Later, the woman can decide to take her partner’s help for the stimulation process and make it a part of the foreplay and intercourse. 
  4. Dyspareunia – Dyspareunia refers to pain or discomfort on attempting sexual intercourse. Usually, the reason is organic causes, and it may be accurately diagnosed by talking to a gynecologist. The recommended treatment is similar to the treatment recommended for vaginismus.
  5. Lack of Sexual Arousal – In men, lack of sexual arousal is linked directly to erectile dysfunction. On the contrary, a lack of arousal in women could be psychological, physical, or a loss of desire. Sometimes, the reason lies in the non-sexual aspects of the relationship.

What Causes Sexual dysfunction?

Sexual dysfunction may result from physical or mental health issues. Below are some common causes of sexual dysfunction – 

  • Physical Causes – Persistence of diseases like diabetes, heart and vascular diseases, hormonal imbalances, alcoholism, neurological disorder, and drug abuse affect sexual activities. It could also be the result of antidepressant medications.
  • Psychological Causes – Psychological causes for sexual dysfunctions are related to work stress, anxiety about performing in the bedroom, relationship problems such as domestic abuse, depression, past sexual trauma, and feelings of guilt. 

How Does Sexual dysfunction Factor into Marital Law?

In many states, sexual dysfunction is not cited as grounds for divorce. Most couples mention irreconcilable differences, which does not require explanation. In cases of annulment, you may quote sexual dysfunction that your spouse did not disclose before getting married. 

How do Treatments help in Sexual dysfunction?

Treatments of sexual dysfunctions usually begin with identifying the cause. Once the cause is understood, the treatment ranges from medication to sex therapy. In men, lifestyle modifications, hormone levels, and diagnostic testing help. On the other hand, women are assessed with a detailed history and physical exam. In women, too, reducing stress and improving lifestyle may help. 

Consequences of Divorce

Sexual dysfunction can bring unhappiness and emotional dissatisfaction in relationships. However, it may not be worth getting a divorce for this reason. It is advisable to evaluate all the other aspects of your relationship, such as the future of your children, if any, the financial situation of the family, and your career, before deciding to divorce. Be supportive of your partner’s health issues and seek treatment from a doctor if the sexual dysfunction is treatable. You may be able to find happiness in your marriage after all.

Disclaimer: The statements, opinions, and data contained in these publications are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of Credihealth and the editor(s). 

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