Sexual dysfunction such as premature ejaculation is characterised by marked challenges individuals or couples experience at any point during a sexual act. These challenges will be in the areas of desire, arousal and orgasm. Dysfunctions in any of the three areas of sexual activity can affect men and women alike. It usually is the case that something in your sex life is not happening the way you were expecting.
The problem may be psychological, physical or a combination of both. It usually includes a wide range of emotions and feelings ranging from minor frustration to severe distress. There are different ranges of responses to sexual dysfunctions but also a wide range of severity of symptoms within the dysfunctions themselves. There are mild symptoms at one end of the spectrum, with severe difficulties at the other, with all sorts of gradations in between.
The most common sexual dysfunctions in men are erectile dysfunction (ED) and premature or delayed ejaculation. In women, the problems range from spasms of the vagina (vaginismus), pain with sexual intercourse (dyspareunia) and problems with sexual desire and response. Men over 65 are at a higher risk of developing ED, although erectile dysfunction is not a prerequisite of aging.
Symptoms of sexual dysfunction can be a short term problem or an ongoing condition. Causal factors include:
- Being 65 or over in males
- Some prescription medication, including antidepressants
- Hormonal imbalances
- Substance use
- Depression, anxiety and other psychological problems
- Stressful life events
- Certain physiological conditions
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