#HealthBytes: Common sex problems, and how to deal with them
A healthy sex life is crucial for a couple's overall physical, mental and emotional well-being. And, sex is supposed to be enjoyable; in case it's not, something needs to be fixed. A sex problem or sexual dysfunction can be anything that prevents you from getting desired satisfaction from sexual intercourse/activity. Here are some common sex problems in couples, and how to deal with them.
Firstly, what are the reasons that lead to sexual dysfunction?
The cause for sexual dysfunction can be physical or psychological. Physical causes include low testosterone, certain medical conditions such as diabetes and vascular diseases, some medications, drug abuse, smoking, and alcoholism. On the other hand, psychological reasons include stress, anxiety, depression, trauma, relationship issues etc.
Erectile dysfunction (ED): Inability to develop/maintain penile erection
Erectile dysfunction (ED) or male impotence is a medical condition in which a man is unable to develop and/or maintain firm penile erection, required for sexual activity. Potential causes for ED include natural aging, certain medications, vascular disease, diabetes, stress and depression. Generally, following a healthy diet and lifestyle can help prevent ED. But in case it doesn't, you should see your doctor.
Premature ejaculation: It affects nearly 30% of men
As the name suggests, premature ejaculation is a condition in which a man rapidly ejaculates after sexual stimulation (usually within a minute), leaving the partners sexually dissatisfied. It affects nearly 30% of men. Causes of PE include stress, depression, anxiety, issues in relationship, and low self-esteem. If this condition strikes your sex life, talk to your doctor for treatment.
Other ejaculatory disorders: Inhibited and Retrograde ejaculation
Apart from premature ejaculation, there exist other ejaculatory disorders as well: Inhibited ejaculation: When ejaculation takes too long to occur, it is called inhibited or delayed ejaculation. Retrograde ejaculation: When at the time of orgasm, the ejaculate is forced back into the bladder, instead of getting discharged through the urethra and out of the end of penis, this is known as retrograde ejaculation.
Low libido: When your want to do it reduces
It might happen that a man loses the natural desire or drive to have sex. Common factors linked with low libido are stress, anxiety, depression, certain medications, and some medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. If you witness a drop in your level of sexual desire over time, talk to your doctor about the underlying reason, and seek an apt treatment.
Vaginal dryness: Common among breastfeeding and menopausal women
Vaginal dryness occurs when hormonal changes take place during breastfeeding or menopause. In fact, according to a study of a thousand postmenopausal women, published in the journal Menopause- 50% of women suffer from vaginal dryness, after menopause. To deal with it, one might consider using an over-the-counter lubricant, before and during intercourse. If the problem still refuses to go, contact your doctor.
Inability to get aroused: More common in women than men
Your inability to get aroused could be due to a number of reasons. These include (sexual) anxiety, lack of proper foreplay, and non-pleasurable or painful intercourse. Other reasons could be hormonal disturbance due to menopause, or the partner's sexual issues such as erectile dysfunction. Talk to your health care professional to figure out the underlying cause, and get the required treatment.
Some women might face difficulty in reaching orgasm
Reportedly, around 5% of perimenopausal women suffer difficulty in reaching orgasm. Apart from the hormones, reasons that might lead to the problem include anxiety, improper foreplay, chronic diseases, and certain medications. To reach orgasm, it is advisable to try newer positions and styles, being more mindful during sex, and paying more attention to foreplay. However, if you still can't attain climax, see your doctor.
Painful intercourse: About 30% of women suffer from it
According to a 2015 study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, about 30% of women suffer pain during vaginal intercourse. Underlying reasons include lack of foreplay and vaginal dryness, among others. It could also be because of medical conditions such as childbirth, surgery, menopause, and some skin issues. If you experience pain during sex, see your doctor to get treatment.
Follow these simple tips to prevent sexual dysfunction
Although sexual problems cannot be avoided altogether, here are certain tips to help you maintain a good sex life. 1) Religiously follow your doctor's treatment plan for any medical conditions. 2) Quit smoking, and limit your alcohol intake as well. 3) Improve communication with your partner. 4) Get rid of mental health issues like stress, anxiety and depression. 5) Seek treatment if required.