Sexual dysfunction can affect men and women, and it can have an impact on you and your relationships. Fortunately, there are many effective treatment options.
There are several different causes of sexual dysfunction, and it can occur in many different forms. It is very common to experience sexual dysfunction at some point in your life.
At the Center for Continence and Pelvic Health, we know that these issues can be hard to talk about. We approach your concerns with sensitivity, compassion, and discretion, and our experts work with you to build the treatment plan that is right for you.
Sexual dysfunction for women may have to do with a lack of sexual desire, pain during intercourse, or inability to orgasm or experience other types of sexual pleasure. This can occur for a number of different reasons.
What is dyspareunia?
Dyspareunia is the medical term for painful sexual intercourse for women. This pain may:
- be sharp, aching, or both
- occur just at the beginning of intercourse or last for hours after having sex
Some women also experience pain with non-sexual penetration, such as putting in a tampon.
Why should I see a dotor if I experience pain during sex?
Dyspareunia is a medical condition with many different causes. Painful intercourse may happen because of physical conditions, such as dryness, inflammation, or endometriosis. It can also be related to emotional factors and can impact intimate relationships.
You and your doctor will work together to understand the possible causes of your pain, and your doctor can recommend certain tests if they suspect your pain is related to a physical condition. Your provider can then recommend a plan to address and improve your symptoms.
What are the treatment options for dyspareunia?
There are a number of different ways to address pain during sex, including:
- lifestyle changes
- the support of your partner and alternatives to penetrative sex
- medical treatments
- physical rehabilitation (evaluation, exercises)
What is vulvodynia?
Vulvodynia occurs when there is chronic pain at the vulva either constantly or when direct pressure is applied (provoked vulvodynia). The vulva is the name for the tissue around the opening to the vagina.
Vulvodynia can occur for many different reasons and at different times. These can include:
- sexual intercourse
- insertion of a tampon
- prolonged sitting
- wearing fitted pants
Can vulvodynia be treated?
Yes! There are different treatments for vulvodynia, and you and your doctor will work together to determine the right approach for you. The treatment chosen will depend on your symptoms, the specific location of your pain, and your preference.
Options may include:
- topical or oral medications
- pelvic floor muscle therapy with biofeedback
- integrative medicine modalities
For men, sexual dysfunction may be related to physical, mental, or emotional concerns. Erectile dysfunction is one of the more commonly talked about issues, but sexual dysfunction may also take the form of low libido or desire, chronic prostatitis, or premature, delayed, or painful ejactulation.
What is erectile dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a condition in which you are unable to have or keep an erection. You may also feel less sexual desire. It is common for men to have occasional trouble with erections. ED occurs if you have these symptoms on a regular basis.
At the Center for Continence and Pelvic Health, we understand that ED can be very hard to talk about. However, it is a real medical condition with many different causes, and there are many ways that your doctor can help. Ask your provider about your concerns, even if you are feeling embarrassed or hesitant.
What are the risk factors for erectile dysfunction?
You may experience ED for many different physical, mental or emotional reasons. Hormones, nerves, blood vessels, stress levels, and many other factors play a role in sexual arousal. An issue with any one of these things can be enough to influence your erections.
You may be at higher risk for ED if you have:
- Depression and anxiety
- Heart disease and/or high blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- High levels of stress
- Issues in your relationship
- Prostate issues
What are the treatment options for erectile dysfunction?
There are many different ways to improve the symptoms of ED. You and your doctor will work together to determine the best approach for you and/or your partner.
Treatment options may include:
- healthy lifestyle
- medical/surgical intervention, such as penile pumps
- behavioral and mental health care
- relationship care
- physical rehabilitation
What is low libido?
Low libido is a reduction or loss of sexual desire and interest in sex.
In many cases, men experience low libido because their testosterone levels have dropped. Testosterone is the hormone that is mainly responsible for a man's sex drive, and it also influences sperm production, muscle mass, body hair, bone health, and even mood.
Depression or anxiety, stress, relationship concerns, and certain medications can also lead to decreased sexual desire.
Are there treatment options for low libido?
Yes, there are different ways to treat low libido and improve sex drive. You and your doctor will work together to determine the cause of your low sexual desire and determine the best treatment options for you.
Treatment may include lifestyle changes, medication changes, relationship care, and more. In some cases, treatment may involve hormone therapy to increase your levels of testosterone. However, this may not be the right approach for everyone, and it is important to talk to your healthcare provider before beginning any hormone supplement or other medication.
What is an ejaculation condition or disorder?
Men may experience a number of different issues around ejaculation during sexual activity. It is common to have these problems from time to time. However, if you experience one of the following on a regular basis, you may have a medical condition that can be treated.
Ejaculation disorders include:
- premature ejaculation, or ejaculation that occurs very quickly after beginning sexual intercourse
- delayed ejaculation, or only being able to ejaculate after extended stimulation/intercourse
- painful ejaculation
Are there treatment options for ejaculation conditions?
Yes, there are different ways that your healthcare providers can help with ejaculation concerns. You and your doctor will work together to determine the cause of your problems. The underlying factors will help your doctor identify the best treatment for you.
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It is common to experience intimacy and sexual concerns after gender confirming surgery. Our CCPH and Transgender Medicine teams will work together to help you find the care you need.