Sexual dysfunction is/are the problem/s that a person may experience during any phase of the sexual response cycle. This prevents the person or the couple from experiencing any satisfaction from sexual activities. The different facets of the sexual response cycle include excitement, orgasm, plateau and resolution. Research has shown that about 43 % of women and 31 % of men suffer from some sort of sexual dysfunction.
There are 4 different types of sexual dysfunction. They are – desire disorder which implies that a person has little or no interest in any kind of sexual activities; arousal disorder means when a person is emotionally ready for sex but the body refuses to cooperate; orgasm disorder occurs when a person is emotionally ready for sex but is not being able to reach climax and pain disorder means a person is experiencing pain during the act.
The treatment for sexual dysfunction in men can involve the use of oral medicines. Other treatments are mechanical methods like vacuum pumps and constriction rings, local therapies like suppositories and injections and surgical methods like penile implants. For women, there can be non-medical treatments like counseling, reverting to a healthy lifestyle, use of lubricants or devices like vibrators. Women with low sexual desire are often recommended a medicine called flibanserin. When female sexual dysfunction is linked to hormonal problems, estrogen therapy or androgen therapy is generally recommended.
Mechanical methods like the use of vacuum pumps help to treat sexual dysfunction in 50-75 % of the cases. The device is to be used by a man on his penis to expand it temporarily. This device is particularly useful for people with diabetes. Constriction rings are used to treat sexual disorder in those men who get an erection but fail to sustain it throughout the intercourse. This condition is called early detumescence and can be cured by placing a rubber ring at the base of the penis after erection.
Local therapies involve the use of pellets which are inserted into the tip of the penis with a pre-filled applicator. This therapy is mostly beneficial for people with diabetes. Another local therapy is the injection therapy whereby the shaft of the penis of the patient is injected with a drug which helps to produce an erection.
Penile implants are one of the oldest methods of treating erectile dysfunction in men. Some doctors may even go for vascular surgery to repair the blood vessels and increase the blood flow to the penis.
For females suffering from sexual dysfunction, healthy communication with her partner, healthy lifestyle habits, counseling or physical use of vaginal lubricants and use of devices that stimulate the clitoris are some of the non-medical treatment options. In women, sexual dysfunction treatment often involves the addressing of some medical condition or hormonal change. Treatment of sexual dysfunction due to hormonal changes can be done with estrogen therapy which involves use of vaginal ring, tablet or cream. Another method of treatment is androgen therapy which involves the use of testosterone.
Any person can suffer from sexual dysfunction but it generally tends to occur in aging people. A person can undergo treatment for sexual dysfunction if he/she suffers from the symptoms associated with the condition. The symptoms that a man can experience are inability to maintain or achieve an erection, delayed or no ejaculation even with adequate sexual stimulation and inability to control the timing of ejaculation.
The symptoms in women are the inability to achieve orgasm, inability to relax the vaginal muscles to allow intercourse and inadequate vaginal lubrication before and during intercourse. Moreover, men and women both lose interest in sex, experience pain during intercourse and have problems getting aroused.
Sexual dysfunction occurs when a person is unable to achieve satisfaction while indulging in sexual activities. The doctor will look at the entire medical history of a patient and even perform a physical test to find out if a person is actually suffering from this condition. A doctor will generally find out about the person’s attitude towards sex as well as other contributing factors like fear, anxiety, past sexual trauma, medications, personal issues and if the person was addicted to any drug or alcohol. After thorough evaluation of these factors, the doctor will understand whether a person is eligible for treatment or not.
Constriction rings are usually safe but may cause pain, numbness and cold sensation in the area for some people. A person should consult a doctor if he has sickle-cell disease, heart disease or if he is on blood thinning medication. A penile vacuum pump may cause small red dots to appear on the skin, can cause pain or bruising, and even give a feeling of numbness or coldness. Prostaglandin E1is injected into the shaft of the penis in injection therapy. The side-effects may include persistent erection and scarring of the male sex organ. Use of the same drug in the form of pellets may cause aching or burning in the penis and minor bleeding.
The side-effects of estrogen therapy include bloating, bleeding from the vagina, nausea, headache, indigestion and others. Some of the side effects of androgen therapy may be weight gain, acne, frequent mood changes, breast development and problems with urine flow.
After undergoing penile implant surgery, a person will experience mild pain for several weeks. A person will need to take antibiotics for about a week after the surgery to avoid infection. Strenuous physical and sexual activities should also be avoided for a few weeks. The doctor might also ask the patient to inflate and deflate the inflatable penile implants twice a day so that he gets used to using them. There are, however, no such post-treatment guidelines for treatment via mechanical methods. One may experience pain after the use of constriction rings. He should immediately go and see a doctor.
The penile implantation procedure may cause bruises on the organ and can also make the scrotum to swell. However, the swelling and pain disappears after about 14 days with the help of several warm baths per day. Hormone therapy in women is generally done over a few months time and may even take years. Hormones should be used for treatment for the shortest period of time but a woman needs to check every 3-6 months whether she needs to continue with the therapy or not.
Medications for hormone therapy are available for as low as Rs 100 for a week. However, the entire procedure starting from the diagnosis to the therapy may cost between Rs 1, 00,000 – Rs 2, 50,000. Constriction rings are available within the price range of Rs 300 – Rs 900. Vacuum pumps to treat erectile dysfunction cost something around Rs 19,500 and Rs 32,500.
Use of constriction rings and vacuum pumps are temporary measures that help to spruce up your conjugal life temporarily. They do not provide a permanent solution. Surgical methods like penis implants may provide a longer-lasting effect but there are chances of some side-effects too. Hormonal therapy in women may help to deal with sexual dysfunction on a long-term basis. However, the therapy should have to be continued if the situation demands.
Women respond well to counseling sessions. Instead of going for hormone therapy or taking medications, a woman can talk to a counselor about how to enhance intimacy with her partner, how to optimize the body’s sexual response and what exercises to do. For men, Panax ginseng and Rhodiola rosea works well to treat erectile dysfunction. DHEA or dehydroepiandrosterone is a remedy for erectile dysfunction in men with concurrent diabetes. Acupuncture can also help to deal with sexual dysfunction.
Rs 100 - Rs 2,50,000
We consider ourselves to be ‘modern and ‘open’ in our perspectives, thoughts and beliefs, but still, there are lots of issues that prevail in our society which people are not comfortable to talk about or afraid to discuss those issues openly with others. Issues related to sex, sexual desires, sexual orientations, sexual preferences are among those issues which are not easily discussed in our society.
Sex is the most basic of acts for human beings. It's an instinct we all are born with. Though people around the world remain hung over sex's moral and political implications, we all can come to at least one consensus that it is why we are alive today and our future generations will always depend on it in the first place.
A child, in his or her growing years, especially during adolescence, develops lots of curiosity related to sexual desires. The reason for it is also biological, as a child in this stage goes through various physical and hormonal changes and they start sensing these desires from inside. But when they try to express their queries, feelings or desires, our stigmatized society pulls them back. Gradually they develop a belief system that ‘sex' is something forbidden and not to be discussed openly.
Eventually, when they grow up and the time comes when they are supposed to address their own sexual needs, desires or impulses, they face challenges because of this inculcated belief systems.
Sexual Arousal Disorder: In this condition, both men and women can develop an aversion to and/or avoidance of sexual contact with their partner. Lack of sexual excitement and pleasure in sexual activity.
Sexual Desire Disorder: Lack or absence for some period of time of sexual desire or libido for sexual activity or of sexual fantasies.
Erectile Dysfunction: Inability to develop or maintain an erection of the penis.
Premature Ejaculation: In this condition, ejaculation occurs before the partner achieves orgasm. Men, in this condition, generally expresses that they have less or no control over ejaculation. The opposite condition to this is Delayed Ejaculation, where there is an inability for or persistent difficulty in achieving orgasm, despite sexual desire and sexual stimulation.
Orgasm Disorder: This condition is commonly found in women, characterized by persistent delays or absence of orgasm.
Sexual Pain Disorder: It is also commonly found among women and also known as Dyspareunia (painful intercourse) and Vaginismus (an involuntary spasm of the muscles of the vaginal wall causing difficulty in intercourse).
The cause behind these conditions can be sometimes physiological, but it has been seen that in most of the cases, there are some or other underlying psychological factors leading to those conditions.
Young adults, even in this era, find it difficult to talk about their sexual orientations, sexual preferences, their first intercourse, difficulty with sexual desires, difficulties or queries related masturbation or problem in ejaculation or any other sexual dysfunctionalities. One reason for this hesitation may be a ‘fear of rejection' that young adults face due to the inflexible social norms.
Many sexual issues that an individual face maybe because of some physical problems or a change in one's life circumstances. Causes of many sexual problems or disorders are also not well-known or understood. Treatments are available like medications or psychotherapeutic interventions, but to seek those help people should accept and open up with their concerns.
Egg Freezing, which is also known as mature oocyte cryopreservation, refers to the method through which reproductive potential is restored among women. Eggs get harvested from the ovaries, frozen and in an unfertilized manner and are stored for purpose of using them later on. The egg freezing procedure is recommended for those women, who would like to delay conceiving baby due to various kinds of reasons.
Before the freezing of eggs, it is important to first retrieve the eggs. Let us look at how the eggs are retrieved, followed by the procedure of egg freezing through two different ways.
Retrieval of Egg
Egg Retrieval takes place just like it is done in case of in vitro fertilization (IVF). Women would need to be put under medication for hormones or through injections, which shall lead to the stimulation of ovaries, leading to more eggs getting matured. After this women would receive the necessary medication to stimulate ovulation and then the extraction of eggs takes place through the use of a needle. Specialists perform this whole procedure by putting women under the effect of anesthesia and are also guided by ultrasounds. Once the extraction is completed, the freezing takes place.
There are two different techniques involved in the egg freezing process. They include:
Slow Egg Freezing Method
A substance called cryoprotectant is used in order to protect the biological tissues from getting damaged out of freezing. This slow freezing method of getting eggs freezed relies on low initial concentrations of crytoprotectant. The cryoprotectant in low concentration is introduced when the egg is at a relatively warm temperature and still continues to experience the usual functions of a living cell. Then the cryptoprotectant would spread all throughtout thus fill the egg, hence replacing most of the water inside the egg. The egg is then inserted into a small container made of plastic and ultimately get placed inside a cooling chamber. The lowering of temperature, to around -6 degree centigrade, takes place through injecting very tiny amounts of liquid nitrogen into the cooling chamber. The cooling process is controlled by a computer.
The main purpose of these techniques is to avoid ice crystals from getting formed in the egg. During the spreading of the cryoprotectant, if the ice crystals are still present, they can cause damage to the egg and hence the egg may not survive the process of thawing. Then the temperature is lowered further to around -32 degree centigrade. By this time, the egg’s metabolic rate become slow. The container where the egg was placed, is then dipped inside the liquid nitrogen, forming a solid.
Rapid Egg Freezing Method or Vitrification
At the time of rapid freezing method, there is high concentration of initial cryoprotectant whereas the cell remains at room temperature. The egg is unable to stay for long in this temperature and thus gets poured immediately onto the liquid nitrogen. Cryoprotectant spreads at a rapid rate so as to avoid ice-crystal from getting damaged. Vitrification is a very new method for freeing eggs. Recent research has shown that vitrification of eggs largely improves the possibility for survival after thawing and the rates of pregnancy.
Both men and women can suffer from sexual dysfunction which in common man’s speak is a problem that prevents you from experiencing sexual satisfaction. If you are experiencing sexual dysfunction in any part of the sexual response cycle which traditionally includes excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution, you are not alone. Research suggests that 43 percent of women and 31 percent of men report some degree of sexual dysfunction or difficulty.
It also remains a topic that many people are hesitant to discuss and resolve worldwide. Read on to know more on sexual dysfunction so that you can understand it and seek treatment for it because treatment options are available and extremely helpful.
Types of sexual dysfunction
Sexual dysfunction is classified into four categories:
Symptoms of sexual dysfunction
Causes of sexual dysfunction
Diagnosis of sexual dysfunction
The doctor will begin with a history of your symptoms, followed by a physical exam to rule out medical problems.
A major part of diagnosis is psychological. The doctor will evaluate your attitude about sex, as well as other contributing factors like fear, anxiety, past sexual abuse, relationship problems, medications, alcohol or drug abuse, etc. to understand the underlying cause of the problem.
Most types of sexual dysfunction can be treated by addressing the underlying physical or psychological problems. Other common ways to treat sexual dysfunction are:
Sexual problems are very common in men and women. There are various reasons because of which sex may not be as pleasing as it can be. The reasons for this could range from the emotional connect that is shared with the person to actual physical issues which stop you from performing. Read on to know the 3 most common sexual problems in males and females.
Any kind of dysfunction points to the issues experienced during any stage of the cycle of physical issue that prevents the participants from experiencing any kind of satisfaction from the intimate activities.
Though the researches imply that sexual problems are common all across the globe; 43% of women along with 31% of men are affected by some sort of dysfunction; however, it is something that most people are hesitant to talk about. But thankfully enough, most cases of sexual problems can be effectively treated, and can be prevented from occurring again, by sharing your concerns with a qualified doctor.
You should consider visiting the doctor along with your partner.
What leads to sexual problems?
Sexual problems can be caused either due to physical or psychological reasons. Many medications and clinical conditions can cause a variety of sexual dysfunctions, and these physical conditions include heart and vascular disease, high levels of blood sugar and blood pressure, any kind of neurological disorder, chronic diseases of the kidneys, liver and lungs, and hormonal imbalances.
In addition to this, the side effects stemming from any medicine, including antidepressant drugs, can cast a harmful impact on the sexual desire and its normal functioning. On the other hand, psychological causes refer to the stresscaused due to work pressures, anxiety, depression, excessive concern about sexual performance, feelings of guilt, and relationship problems.
What are the common sexual problems?
What leads to sexual problems can cause a wide variety of issues in both men and women. While erectile dysfunction is most commonly found in men, vaginal dryness is the most common issue in women. Sexual dysfunction can take a variety of forms, and it is not plainly confined to the dysfunction or simple disinterest in sex, which is commonly termed as lack of sex drive.
It can also involve pain while having sex or an inability to maintain the erection or experiencing pain while getting an orgasm. There are some people who experience excruciating pain during intercourse, which is often accompanied with a burning sensation.
All couples have the right to enjoy a happy and healthy sex life, which can be considered a crucial aspect of any relationship. So, if you are having any kind of difficulty that is interrupting your lovemaking, it is imperative to speak with your doctor to get the right diagnosis, and discuss openly with your partner to find out the ideal solution of your sexual problems. Couple therapy is a very effective way of treating such problems among people. The purpose of couples therapy is to restore a better level of functioning in couples who experience relationship distress.