Now a days, the most common problem couples face is sexual dysfunction. Sexual dysfunction refers to a problem occurring during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual or couple from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual activity. The sexual response cycle traditionally includes excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution. Desire and arousal are both part of the excitement phase of the sexual response.

What are the types of sexual dysfunction?

Sexual dysfunction generally is classified into four categories:

• Desire disorders —lack of sexual desire or interest in sex

• Arousal disorders —inability to become physically aroused or excited during sexual activity

• Orgasm disorders —delay or absence of orgasm (climax)

• Pain disorders — pain during intercourse

Who is affected by sexual dysfunction? 

Sexual dysfunction can affect any age, although it is more common in those over 40 because it is often related to a decline in health associated with ageing.

What are the symptoms of sexual dysfunction?

In men:

• Inability to achieve or maintain an #erection suitable for #intercourse(erectile dysfunction)

• Absent or delayed #ejaculation despite adequate sexual stimulation (retarded ejaculation)

• Inability to control the timing of ejaculation (early or premature ejaculation)

In women:

• Inability to achieve orgasm

• Inadequate vaginal lubrication before and during intercourse

• Inability to relax the vaginal muscles enough to allow intercourse

In men and women:

• Lack of interest in or desire for sex

• Inability to become aroused

• Pain with intercourse

Treatment of sexual dysfunction

Most types of sexual dysfunction can be corrected by treating the underlying physical or psychological problems. Other treatment strategies include:

• Sex therapy — Sex therapists can be very helpful to couples experiencing a sexual problem that cannot be addressed by their primary clinician. Therapists are often good marital counsellors, as well. For the couple who wants to begin enjoying their sexual relationship, it is well worth the time and effort to work with a trained professional.

• Behavioural treatments — These involve various techniques, including insights into harmful behaviours in the relationship, or techniques such as self-stimulation for treatment of problems with arousal and/or orgasm.

• Psychotherapy — Therapy with a trained counsellor can help a person address sexual trauma from the past, feelings of anxiety, fear, or guilt, and poor body image, all of which may have an impact on current sexual function.

• Education and communication — Education about sex and sexual behaviours and responses may help an individual overcome his or her anxieties about sexual function. Open dialogue with your partner about your needs and concerns also helps to overcome many barriers to a healthy sex life.

• The success of treatment for sexual dysfunction depends on the underlying cause of the problem. The outlook is good for dysfunction that is related to a condition that can be treated or reversed. Mild dysfunction that is related to stress, fear, or anxiety often can be successfully treated with counselling, education, and improved communication between partners.