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Sexual dysfunction in men
In men, sexual dysfunction refers to difficulties engaging in sexual intercourse. Sexual dysfunction encompasses a variety of disorders that affect sex drive (libido), the ability to achieve or maintain an erection (impotence), ejaculation, and the ability to achieve orgasm.
Sexual dysfunction may result from either physical or psychologic factors. Many sexual problems result from a combination of both. Men sometimes pressure themselves or feel pressured by a partner to perform well sexually and become distressed when they cannot (performance anxiety). Performance anxiety can be troublesome and further worsen a man's ability to enjoy sexual relations.
Erectile dysfunction is the most common sexual dysfunction in men. Erectile dysfunction (impotence) is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection. Every man is occasionally unable to achieve an erection. This is normal. Erectile dysfunction occurs when the problem is frequent or continuous. Erectile dysfunction becomes more common with age but is not part of the normal aging process. About half of men 65 years of age and three fourths of men 80 years of age have erectile dysfunction.
Decreased libido also affects some men. Decreased libido is a reduction in sex drive. Sex drive varies greatly among men. Different men find different degrees of libido satisfactory. Libido may be decreased temporarily by conditions such as fatigue or anxiety. Libido also tends to gradually decrease as a man ages.
Occasionally, libido can be low throughout a life. Most often low libido develops after years of normal sexual desire. Psychologic factors, such as depression, anxiety, and relationship problems, are often the cause. Some drugs and decreased levels of testosterone can also lower libido.
Sexual dysfunction in women
Normal sexual function involves mind (thoughts and emotions) and body (including the nervous, circulatory, and endocrine systems), leading to a sexual response. Sexual response consists of desire, arousal, orgasm and resolution.
Sexual function is affected by physical and psychologic factors. It may be affected by culture, emotions, age, previous sexual experiences, use of drugs, and the presence of disorders. Sexual dysfunction may involve pain during intercourse or a disturbance in sexual response, affecting desire, arousal, or orgasm. About 30 to 50% of women experience sexual dysfunction at some time during their life.
Dyspareunia is pain during sexual intercourse.
Vaginismus is an involuntary contraction of muscles around the opening of the vagina that makes sexual intercourse painful or impossible.
Decreased libido is a reduction in the sex drive.
Orgasmic disorder is the delay in or absence of sexual climax (orgasm) despite sufficiently long and intense sexual stimulation. The amount and type of stimulation required for orgasm varies greatly from woman to woman. Most women can reach orgasm when the clitoris is stimulated, but only about half of women regularly reach orgasm during sexual intercourse. About 1 of 10 women never reach orgasm.
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