When we encounter the subject of Sexual Dysfunction, it can bring several rumours and misinformation. They are a heterogeneous group of disorders characterised by a significant impact on a person’s ability to respond sexually or to experience sexual pleasure. A person may have several sexual dysfunctions at the same time. These may include male delayed ejaculation, male erectile disorder, female orgasmic disorder, and female sexual arousal disorder amongst others. Let us look at some sexual dysfunctions myths we may encounter.
Myth 1 – Sexual dysfunction occurs only in older men
While the likelihood of dysfunction rises with age, issues can arise at any moment after puberty.
No matter your age, every issue requires a complete assessment. Although the likelihood of sexual problems rises with age, sexual dysfunction is never normal. Both men and women should anticipate having a healthy, active sex life well into their 70s and 80s. Precaution, vigilance and treatment used appropriately can facilitate this.
Myth 2 – Treatment starts only when it is severe
Any issue that adversely affects a couple’s sexual health and compatibility needs to be addressed.
Even simple issues can be successfully resolved. They do not need to become serious before either men or women seek assistance. Sexual dysfunction is a concern for couples, and incorporating the partner in the diagnosis and treatment can greatly enhance the outcome.
Myth 3 – Erectile dysfunction is the only sexual problem that can be treated
There are many highly effective palliatives available for erectile dysfunction such as oral medications. Although they are not always helpful, there are also other intensive therapies available. Besides erectile dysfunction, other sexual dysfunctions, such as poor libido and early ejaculation can be treated.
Myth 4 – Sexual dysfunction is in the mind
Our physical and mental health are intertwined, either one affects the other. What happens mentally affects the body in some way, however, it is common that there is a medical reason for sexual dysfunction. There are sexual issues that are caused by psychological problems, but for the most part, the issue is physical rather than psychological. Most often, professionals working in the field would first rule out any possible physical issues before moving to psychological treatment.
Myth 5 – Dysfunctions result from not being attracted to the partner
This is not usually the case. Although we can say that relationship variables can affect sexual function, research has found that most men with sexual issues still find their partner attractive, and hence there might be an underlying issue, causing sexual dysfunction.
Several myths regarding sexual dysfunctions have been discussed above. Lifestyle choices such as poor diet, inactivity, alcohol use and smoking are just a few of the most common risk factors and behaviours associated with these issues. Sexual dysfunctions can be prevented through risk reduction and lifestyle modifications, but when they do occur, there is support available.
If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.
Charlot Cauchi is a Gestalt Psychotherapist at Willingness. He has experience working with adult clients with mental health difficulties, anxiety and depression, loss and grief, traumatic experiences, stress and relational issues.
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). American Psychiatric Association.