Sexual disorders are like people — they come in all different kinds of shapes and sizes. The good news is that nowadays, having a sexual concern such as erectile dysfunction ED or problems with getting aroused is no big deal. There are a wide variety of treatments — from medications to a specific form of psychotherapy — that can help virtually everyone with a sexual disorder, no matter what the concern. Keep in mind as you read through this section that sexuality exists on a continuum.
Sexual dysfunction 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. According to the DSM-5 , sexual dysfunction requires a person to feel extreme distress and interpersonal strain for a minimum of six months excluding substance or medication-induced sexual dysfunction. 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. Many of the sexual dysfunctions that are defined are based on the human sexual response cycle , proposed by William H. Masters and Virginia E. Johnson , and then modified by Helen Singer Kaplan.
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. While research suggests that sexual dysfunction is common 43 percent of women and 31 percent of men report some degree of difficulty , it is a topic that many people are hesitant to discuss.
Sexual dysfunction is a common problem among both men and women. It can be caused by physical problems and medical conditions, such as heart disease and hormone imbalances, or by psychological problems, like anxiety, depression and the effects of past trauma. These disorders affect sexual desire and interest in sex, are also known as libido disorders or low libido.