The 10 most common sexual dysfunctions (and how to treat them)


Sexual dysfunction is defined as any difficulty that may prevent the enjoyment of sexual intercourse., seriously interfering with the welfare of the affected individual. Although talking about this type of health problem is still a taboo subject for many, statistics indicate that there are not a few people affected by some type of difficulty in their sexual life. Talking about this issue naturally is essential to break the stigma and provide support to those experiencing difficulties in this area of ​​their lives, as these can seriously affect relationships and the self-esteem of those who suffer from them.

Currently, it is known that most sexual problems have a psychological root. Many patients show a healthy reproductive system at an organic level, but certain emotional factors interfere and reduce normal and satisfactory sexual performance.

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Sex is health and health is life

The importance of sex for people’s health is indisputable, which is why within psychology, areas such as sexology and couples therapy have developed in a more than remarkable way in recent years. Solving sexual dysfunction often involves applying behavior modification programs or working on aspects such as emotional management.

The truth is that there is a great diversity of sexual dysfunctions, since these types of problems can appear at any stage of the sexual response. Difficulties can occur before the sexual relationship itself, when they are related to desire. They can also occur at the time of arousal, on reaching orgasm and it can even be a problem of pain throughout intercourse.

Currently, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in its latest edition (DSM-5), establishes that sexual dysfunction can only be diagnosed when the affectation lasts for a minimum of six months. That is why a specific episode of difficulty in sex does not necessarily imply the existence of a dysfunction as such. In any case, in this article we are going to comment on the most frequent sexual dysfunctions in the population.

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What are the most frequent sexual dysfunctions?

Next, we are going to detail what the most frequent sexual dysfunctions consist of.

1. Premature ejaculation

Premature ejaculation is one of the most well-known and frequent sexual dysfunctions in men. This sexual disorder leads to the man ejaculates about a minute after penetration has occurredmuch earlier than desired by him and his partner, which causes significant problems in their relationship.

Although it is estimated that around 30% of men between the ages of 18 and 70 have had an episode of premature ejaculation, only a percentage of between 1% and 3% suffer from this disorder. However, it is known that the probability of suffering from it increases with age. Making an official diagnosis of this dysfunction requires, first of all, that the problem cannot be explained by organic causes or the effect of any drug or medication. In addition, it must have persisted for at least six months and appear in almost all sexual relations.

When diagnosing premature ejaculation, it is possible to specify whether it is an acquired difficulty or present since adolescence, and may also indicate whether it is generalized or only occurs in certain situations. The severity will also be variable depending on the number of seconds that pass without ejaculating from the start of penetration.

Because it is one of the most widespread problems, various therapies and techniques have been devised for its treatment. Among them are the technique that consists of stimulating the penis until ejaculation approaches, at which point it stops. Following a series of progressive steps over time, this and other strategies have made it possible to solve this problem in many patients.

premature ejaculation

2. Erectile dysfunction

This is another of the great problems that affect the sexual life of men. The truth is that not all erection problems are the same, as some prevent the erection completely, others make it difficult to maintain and others reduce the power with which it is produced. In any case, to talk about erectile dysfunction, as in the previous case, the problem must be present for at least six months and affect the majority of sexual relations. The severity will also vary in each case and, as in premature ejaculation, it is known that age contributes to favoring the appearance of the problem.

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3. Female anorgasmia

Female anorgasmia problems can be related to delayed, infrequent, absent or less intense orgasm. As with the previous ones, the problem must persist for at least 6 months and cause significant discomfort in the patient. Not all women experience anorgasmia with the same intensity. Added to this, there are women who start not having orgasms late, while others claim to have never experienced one.

This problem is quite widespread in women, estimating that up to 10% to 42% have suffered from it at some point in their lives. Unlike what happens with male dysfunctions, age does not play against sexual enjoyment, since the probability of having had an orgasm increases over time. Treatments for this problem are based on masturbation supported by specific vibrators.

4. Male anorgasmia

Although female anorgasmia is better known, this does not mean that men cannot also suffer from it. Men with anorgasmia problems can achieve arousal before intercourse, but they cannot reach orgasm. Some of them may even find it difficult to ejaculate or, when they do, they do not feel pleasure but quite the opposite.

5. Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD)

Desire problems are a common issue for both them and them. It is one of the dysfunctions that produces the most discomfort and anxiety, since it is often difficult to know exactly what causes it. The diagnosis of TDSH cannot be made when there are organic conditions or substance use that justify the reduction in motivation towards relationships.

Men and women who suffer from this problem They usually show a reduction in their interest in sex., absence of pleasure during intercourse, fewer erotic fantasies and almost non-existent initiative. All this must be present in most sexual encounters, for six months or more, to consider that there is a disorder as such.


6. Vaginismus

This female sexual disorder leads women to feel intense pain during intercourse, to the point that penetration is not feasible. The reason why this happens lies in the involuntary contraction of the vaginal muscles. Despite this, women who suffer from vaginismus can enjoy forms of sex that do not require penetration, such as oral sex, and can reach orgasm through this alternative route.

7. Aversion to sex

The aversion to sex consists of an extreme and persistent rejection of sexual relations. The person discards having intimate relationships with other people. In the most serious cases, opposition is given not only to intercourse itself, but also to preliminaries and any contact that has a minimally sexual connotation.

8. Dyspareunia

This dysfunction produces painful intercourse. The term dyspareunia is quite general, as it can refer to many different types of sexual pain. This discomfort can be experienced both at the beginning and during and after intercourse. Women who suffer from this problem report feeling intense and acute discomfort, often in the form of itching or burning in the vagina.

When a problem of this type is not addressed correctly and is perpetuated over time, it can trigger the aforementioned vaginismus. For this reason, it is especially important to go to a specialist for discomfort in relationships, since in this way organic causes can be ruled out and find out what is the best treatment alternative.

9. Delayed ejaculation

Previously we had commented on what premature ejaculation consisted of, a problem that is especially common in men. Delayed ejaculation is the other side of the coin. This disorder prevents men from reaching climax under normal conditions, as it requires much more stimulation time than is considered normal. Only after a long time is he able to ejaculate.

10. Vulvodynia

Vulvodynia literally means pain in the vulva. This type of discomfort appears as a burning pain of great intensity in the entire vulvar area. There are some women who suffer from this problem in the outermost area, while others experience localized pain towards the innermost part, almost reaching the coccyx. This problem is, fortunately, less common than the previous ones. However, this makes it difficult to reach the diagnosis, and can be confused with other types of pathologies.



In this article we have talked about a problem that affects both men and women: sexual dysfunctions. Despite the taboo that surrounds this issue, it is a phenomenon that affects a significant percentage of people. Some dysfunctions are especially common, so knowing them is essential to understanding and supporting those who experience them.

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