Low libido is a very common problem among both men and women. Picture: Pixabay

The good news is that sexual problems are treatable and you can overcome them. Make a commitment to your love life. When you do, you’ll be reaffirming your commitment to your relationship, to the discovery (or rediscovery) of your sexual self, and to the joy of loving each other.

What causes sexual problems?

If you experience any of the below mentioned sexual problems it is important to consult with a specialist in the field such as a sexologist. The treatment of sexual dysfunctions are specialized and in most cases multi-faceted. Any possible medical issues contributing to the problem also need to be eliminated and or treated.
Generally sexual problems are caused by a combination of some of the following factors:

  • Hormonal Imbalances
  • Medication
  • Medical issues (Menopause, Diabetes, Cancer, Heart Disease ext)
  • Oral Contraception
  • Lack of knowledge and experience
  • Sexual Inhibition
  • Fatigue
  • Conflict and relationship problems
  • Boredom
  • Distorted Body Image
  • Performance Anxiety
  • Guilt and shame
  • Past Sexual Trauma
The 6 most common sexual problems are:

Erectile dysfuntion

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is defined as the inability to attain or maintain an erection that is strong enough for satisfactory sexual intercourse. Erectile dysfunction can be an indication of a serious cardiac incident within 3 - 5 years and is therefore an important problem to address. Psychological problems can also result in erectile dysfunction, especially feelings of inadequacy and performance anxiety.

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Delayed ejaculation

Male orgasmic disorder involves a persistent and recurrent delay or absence of orgasm following sufficient stimulation. Some men with delayed ejaculation are unable to ejaculate at all. Male orgasmic disorder can be a lifelong condition or one that is acquired after a period of normal sexual functioning. The condition can be limited to certain situations or can occur generally. 

Premature ejaculation

Premature ejaculation is a common sexual complaint, whereby a man ejaculates (and typically orgasms) within one minute of penetration. It is likely to be caused by a combination of psychological factors such as guilt or anxiety, and biological factors such as hormone levels or nerve damage.

Lack of interest in sex

Low libido is a very common problem among both men and women, but it is often difficult to determine the cause. It is usually caused by various factors – problems from your past (like past sexual trauma), current psychological issues (depression and anxiety), chronic fatigue, boredom, relationship issues, medication, hormonal imbalances (especially low Testosterone levels) as well as medical and gynecological conditions like painful intercourse.

Inability to achieve orgasm

The absence of having orgasms in women is also referred to as anorgasmia. It can be divided into primary anorgasmia, when a woman has never experienced an orgasm, and secondary anorgasmia, when a woman who previously experienced orgasms no longer do so. 10-15% of women have never had an orgasm. Finding it difficult to switch off, psychological issues (anxiety), not feeling emotionally connected to your partner, painful sex, medication and past sexual trauma might contribute to this problem. It is also important to note that it takes on average 15 minutes or more for a woman to reach orgasm where it takes on average 4 minutes for a man. This is why foreplay is crucial.

Sexual pain and penetration disorders 

There are many sexual pain and penetration disorders in women especially and the good news is that it can be treated very successfully. Women might experience pain with penetration when the pelvic floor muscles involuntary go into spasm (vaginismus) for example. 

* Dr Elmari Mulder Craig is a European Certified Sexologist. Visit her website www.elmaricraig.co.za