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Sexual dysfunctions: Clinical
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Sexual dysfunctions are a group of dysfunctions that prevent individuals from wanting or enjoying sexual activity. They can have a profound impact on a person’s life, and can lead to high levels of distress and anxiety.
There are many factors which may lead to sexual dysfunctions.
Emotional factors include depression, sexual fears or guilt, past sexual trauma, and anxiety.
Physical factors include pain and discomfort during sex.
Additionally, drugs, such as alcohol, nicotine, or narcotics, premenstrual syndrome, pregnancy, the postpartum period, and menopause can all affect a person’s libido and the ability to experience sexual pleasure.
Sexual dysfunctions can be divided into four subtypes: lifelong or acquired and generalized or situational.
Lifelong is when the sexual problem has been present from first sexual experiences; acquired applies to problems that develop after a period of relatively normal sexual function; generalized is when the problem occurs across many types of stimulation, situations, or partners; and situational refers to sexual difficulties that only occur in certain contexts.
In all the disorders, the sexual dysfunction should not be better explained by a nonsexual mental disorder or as a consequence of severe relationship distress or other stressors, and it shouldn’t be attributable to another medical condition.
Additionally, the symptoms must persist for at least 6 months and should cause significant distress.
Sexual dysfunctions can be further divided into three categories: male sexual disorders which include delayed ejaculation, erectile disorder, male hypoactive sexual desire disorder, and premature ejaculation; female sexual disorders which include female orgasmic disorder, female sexual interest or arousal disorder, and genito-pelvic pain or penetration disorder; and three common disorders, namely substance or medication-induced sexual dysfunction, other specified sexual dysfunction, and unspecified sexual dysfunction.
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