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Sexual Problems - Definition, Symptoms & Causes

Sexual Problems are defined by pain associated with sexual intercourse, or disturbances in the sexual response cycle, which prevent an individual, or couple, from obtaining sexual enjoyment. The sexual response cycle involves four progressive phases, starting with desire, then excitement, then orgasm, and finally resolution. A sexual dysfunction may occur at one or more phases, and may develop gradually or suddenly. Sexual problems may cause personal distress and affect personal relationships.

Symptoms of Sexual Problems

In men and women, sexual problems may involve a lack of desire, or a lack of excitement. In men, sexual problems may involve an absence of or delay in ejaculation, an inability to control the timing of ejaculation, or an inability to attain or maintain an erection. In women, sexual problems may involve an inability to reach orgasm, an inability to relax vaginal muscles enough for sexual intercourse, inadequate vaginal lubrication, or pain in the vagina or in the vulva during sexual intercourse.

Causes of Sexual Problems

The causes of sexual problems may be physical, psychological, or both, and may be specific to each of the sexual dysfunctions which include Sexual Arousal Disorders such as Female Sexual Arousal Disorder or Male Erectile Disorder, Sexual Desire Disorders such as Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder or Sexual Aversion Disorder, Sexual Pain Disorders such as Dyspareunia or Vaginismus, or Orgasmic Disorders such as Female Orgasmic Disorder, Male Orgasmic Disorder or Premature Ejaculation.

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Updated 18 June 2013