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Sexual dysfunction

Related Terms

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Background

  • Sexual dysfunction or sexual malfunction is defined as difficulty during any stage of the sexual act (which includes desire, arousal, orgasm, and resolution) that prevents the individual or couple from enjoying sexual activity.
  • Sexual dysfunction includes desire, arousal, orgasmic, and sexual pain disorders, including dyspareunia (painful intercourse) and vaginismus (involuntary spasm of the muscles of the vaginal wall that interferes with intercourse). Estimates of the number of women who have sexual dysfunctions range from 19-50% of the normal population, and increase to 68-75% when sexual dissatisfaction or problems (not dysfunctional in nature) are included. One in 10 men in the world has erectile dysfunction, and approximately 30 million men in the United States have erectile dysfunction.
  • Sexual difficulties can begin early in an individual's sex life or they may develop after an individual has previously experienced enjoyable and satisfying sex. Sexual dysfunctions are more common in the early adult years, with the majority of people seeking care for such conditions during their late 20s through their 30s. A problem may develop gradually over time, or may occur suddenly as a total or partial inability to participate in one or more stages of the sexual act.
  • The causes of sexual difficulties can be physical, psychological, or both.
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Types and Causes

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Signs and Symptoms

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Complications

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Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Integrative Therapies

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Prevention

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.