The 8 most common sexual problems and how to treat them

Both men and women can suffer from a wide variety of sexual dysfunctions.. Some of these disorders involve pain, difficulty reaching orgasm, or difficulty maintaining sexual arousal.

Suffering from sexual problems is a complex experience, as this situation often affects not only the person suffering from it, but also their partner. Although psychologists who are experts in sex therapy treat patients who come to their clinic for this type of disorder on a daily basis, many people find it difficult to take the plunge and seek professional help, mainly due to the discomfort. that they feel.

Main sexual problems

What are the main sexual problems that men and women suffer from? What disorders affect the sexual well-being of a person or a couple?

In the following lines you will find a list of the most common sexual problems and how to treat them.

1. Disorder of sexual desire

Lack of interest in sex or lack of sexual desire is a common problem in both sexes; however, it is more common in women. In fact, it is considered the most common sexual dysfunction in women, reaching an incidence of 33% between the ages of 18 and 59 and up to 45% at menopause. This apathy includes not only disinterest in sex, but also in any sexual behavior, such as masturbation.

The causes can be both physical and psychological. Regarding the latter, the following stand out: partner problems, other sexual dysfunctions (vaginismus, erectile dysfunction, etc.), mood disorders, anxiety and stress, fatigue or monotony.

2. Erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is the inability of a man to achieve and / or maintain an erection of the penis and therefore to have a satisfactory sexual relationship. It is one of the most feared sexual problems in men and can have a serious impact on the life of the affected person, especially their self-esteem and interpersonal relationships.

It occurs for different reasons, although performance anxiety is one of the psychological origins that can cause this sexual limitation and turns this problem into a vicious cycle that is difficult to break out of.

  • If you want to know more about this disorder, you can read the article written by the Mensalus Psychology Center: “Erectile Dysfunction (Impotence): What It Is and What Is Its Treatment.”

3. Disorder of sexual arousal in women

Arousal disorder in women refers to the inability to undergo physiological changes during sexual arousal, Such as vaginal lubrication, increased heart rate and muscle tension; a situation that lasts throughout sexual activity. As with erectile dysfunction, arousal disorder in women has a high incidence.

The most important psychological factors in the appearance of this sexual problem are the anticipated fear of having another sexual failure and the anxiety that this fear causes.

4. Vaginismus

Vaginismus is a female sexual dysfunction characterized by the inability to achieve vaginal penetration due to the contraction of the muscles surrounding the entrance to the vagina. This happens due to a reflex spasm that causes the muscles in that area to contract, causing the vaginal opening to close.

The cause is usually found in the fact that some women associate penetration with a feeling of danger. The resulting anxiety causes a strained response that makes it impossible to relax the vaginal muscles.

    5. Premature ejaculation

    Premature ejaculation is a male orgasm disorder in which the man expels semen prematurely, Unintentionally, recurrently in response to sexual stimulation before, during or after penetration. It can come from different causes, psychological factors being the main ones.

    Psychological causes include: low self-esteem, performance anxiety, depression, anxiety, and nervousness.

    6. Anorgasmia

    Anorgasmia is another type of orgasm disorder that affects both men and women; however, it is more common in the latter (female anargosmia). It is defined as the absence or delay of orgasm during normal sexual activity, and as in the previous case, psychological factors usually predominate over organic factors.

    • If you want to delve deeper into the causes and consequences of this disorder, you can read our article: “Female Anorgasmia (Inability to Achieve Orgasm): Causes and Treatment”

    7. Pain disorder

    Dyspareunia is persistent, recurring pain in the pelvic area during or shortly after penetration, Erection or ejaculation, and can affect both men and women, although it is more common in women (female dyspareunia). Scientific studies conclude that around 12% of women suffer from it. Female dyspareunia is usually associated with problems with vaginismus.

      8. Sexual aversion disorder

      People who suffer from this disorder, also called sexual rejection, actively and passively avoid genital contact.. The cause is usually extreme anxiety and panic during sex. It usually occurs more often in women.

      How to treat sexual problems

      Talking about sexual issues can be difficult, in large part because people in this situation can feel ashamed, guilty, failed, and defeated both in life and in front of their partner. This circumstance only feeds the confusion, because the individual enters a vicious circle from which it is difficult to get out.

      Therefore, the best option is to seek professional help, in person or remotely.. In most cases, sexual disorders have a psychological origin, and therefore sexual psychotherapy is effective in treating these problems and thus overcome suffering and improve well-being.

        Some therapeutic procedures

        This is a summary of the most common forms of therapeutic intervention to help people with emotional and sexual problems of totally or partially psychological causes.

        1. Cognitive restructuring

        Many times the inability to fully enjoy sex is linked to dysfunctional beliefs that lead to repression, especially those that maintain low self-esteem, complex sidewalks of the body itself, etc.

        In therapy, it helps dispel these beliefs through procedures such as Socratic dialogue or the upward arrow technique, combined with a so-called cognitive restructuring intervention, which, as the name suggests, is modification-based. thought models and the interpretation of reality.

        2. Training for pleasure

        It is a particularly useful technique in intercourse in the context of the couple. It is based on de-genitalizing relationships and create intimate moments based on other forms of interaction.

        3. Weekly stop and start technique

        This is a technique specially designed to treat premature ejaculation problems. It helps to improve “endurance” through progressive training of increasing difficulty.

        4. Counseling and psychoeducation

        Also in sexological intervention sessions people are informed about the theoretical and practical aspects of sexualitySomething very necessary considering the misinformation in this area, in part because of the taboo with anything to do with sex.

        5. Stimulus exposure techniques

        This type of procedure is very helpful in resolving anxiety-based sexual dysfunctions and reactions associated with stress, such as vaginismus. It consists in generating an addiction to anxious situations, allowing them to lose their fear.

        References bibliographic:

        • Bancroft, J. (2009). Human sexuality and its problems. Edinburgh: Elsevier.
        • Eden, KJ; Wylie KR (2009). Quality of sexual life and menopause. Women’s health. 5 (4): pages 385 to 396.
        • Kaplan, HS (1974). New Sex Therapy: Dysfunctions of Active Sexual Treatments, New York: Brunner / Mazel.
        • Masters, WH and Johnson, VE (1996). Human sexual response. Buenos Aires: Intermedical.
        • Michetti, Prime Minister; Rossi, R .; Bonanno, D .; Tiesi, A .; Simonelli, C. (2005). Male sexuality and emotion regulation: a study of the association between alexithymia and erectile dysfunction (ED). International Journal of Impotence Research. 18 (2): pages 170 to 174.
        • Wright, JJ; O’Connor, KM (May 2015). Female sexual dysfunction. North American medical clinics. 99 (3): pages 607 to 628.

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