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Interested woman estimating her naked partner in bed dealing with sexual dysfunction

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For some people, sex is simple. You’re attracted to someone. You get intimate. Your body responds with arousal. And you have enjoyable sex. But for others, it’s a bit more complicated. An estimated 43 percent of women and 31 percent of men experience sexual dysfunction, according to the National Library of Medicine. Sexual dysfunction, put simply, refers to an individual or couple’s inability to desire sexual activities or enjoy sexual activities.

It can be physically and emotionally painful to suffer sexual dysfunction. However, the good news is that the medical community has a rather comprehensive grasp on it, so help is available. The important thing is to recognize it, understand the nature of it, and seek professional help if necessary. Let’s take a look at exactly what sexual dysfunction is and what you can do about it.


How To Identify Sexual Dysfunction

Relationship Problems.

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So you and your partner have one tough night. They don’t finish, or you don’t finish. Maybe one of you just can’t get in the right headspace to even begin foreplay. Does that mean there is sexual dysfunction in your relationship? Not necessarily. There are a few factors that differentiate sexual dysfunction from just one off night.

The main distinguishing characteristic is that the issue is ongoing. If you struggle to get in the mood for sex or to enjoy sex on a regular basis, you might be dealing with sexual dysfunction.

Some other factors that should trigger a discussion either with your partner or your doctor include:

  • Pain during sex. Nobody should experience pain during sex. If this is occurring, speak to your partner about ways they can help (like by using more lubricant or engaging in more foreplay), or speak to your doctor if your partner and you cannot fix the issue.
  • Inability to be physically aroused. If you or your partner finds that you can be mentally in the mood, but your body physically fails to respond (for a woman, there is no natural lubrication or for a man, there is no erection), this could be a sign of sexual dysfunction.
  • Inability to orgasm. If you or your partner are able to get mentally in the mood and physically aroused, but consistently struggle to orgasm, this could be a sign of sexual dysfunction.


Sexual Dysfunction In Men Vs. Women

Because men’s and women’s bodies are different, sexual dysfunction shows up in different ways in both.

For men, sexual dysfunction can look like:

  • Erectile dysfunction. An inability to achieve or maintain an erection.
  • Premature ejaculation. Climaxing too quickly.
  • Impaired ejaculation. An inability to ejaculate.


There are a number of possible causes for sexual dysfunction in men. Some are physical while others are psychological. Nerve damage, blood flow issues, certain medications, low testosterone, penile injury or psychological issues (such as depression or anxiety), could all lead to sexual dysfunction in men.

For women, sexual dysfunction can look like:

  • Pain or discomfort during sex
  • An inability to become wet
  • Vaginal muscle spasms during sex
  • An inability to orgasm


The reasons for sexual dysfunction in women are varied and more complicated than those in men. That’s because what is considered a “normal” sexual response in women isn’t as easily quantifiable as it is in men. For men, a hard penis that eventually ejaculates is a sign of “healthy sexual function.” For women, it’s not as simple. There can be varying levels of healthy lubrication, and there are many types and levels of a female orgasm. But some experts say that it might be as simple as this: if you are a woman who is dissatisfied with or experiences discomfort in her sex life, you have a sexual dysfunction.

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