Sexual problems prevent a person or couple from enjoying sexual activity. Sexual problems may happen slowly over time or may start suddenly. They include not being interested in sex, being unable to have sex, or not being able to have an orgasm.
The causes of sexual problems can be physical, emotional, or both.
Physical causes include:
Emotional causes of sexual problems include:
Sometimes women feel that they are not understood or appreciated, or that they are not attractive. Feeling this way can decrease sexual desire.
Many men blame their lack of sexual desire on stress or worries. Rather than talking about these issues, they may avoid sex.
Symptoms of sexual problems may include:
Treatment depends on the cause of the sexual problem. If you are concerned that you have a sexual problem, see your healthcare provider. Physical causes may be treated with medicine or, in some cases, with surgery. Physical therapy and mechanical aides may help people with some illnesses, conditions, or disabilities.
Talking openly and supporting each other is a very important part of treating emotional causes of sexual problems. Education about sex and sexual behaviors or responses may also be helpful. Books, videos, and movies offer the chance to watch different sexual behavior. You and your partner may want to discuss and try something new if you feel it might improve your relationship.
Some couples may benefit from sexual therapy. Sex therapy is based on the beliefs that sex is healthy and that relationships should be meaningful. Sex therapists believe sexual skills are learned, and that learning more about sex may help correct some sexual problems. The therapy is short, usually 6 to 12 sessions. Between sessions you may be given homework. Homework may include exercises in communication or touching. The goal is to help couples improve their intimate relationship.
Psychotherapy may help people deal with anxieties, fears, or poor body image.
Talking with your partner in a clear and positive way may be the most important part of a healthy sexual relationship. Open and effective communication can go a long way in solving sexual problems.
Nearly every couple has sexual problems at some time in their lives. Most sexual problems can be treated. The first step is to admit that there is a problem, and then get the needed help.