The primary characteristic in this category is the impairment in normal sexual functioning. This can refer to an inability to perform or reach an orgasm, painful sexual intercourse, a strong repulsion of sexual activity, or an exaggerated sexual response cycle or sexual interest.
Medical cause must be ruled out first.
Sexual dysfunctions are characterised by disturbance in sexual desire and in the psycho physiological changes that characterise the sexual response cycle and cause marked distress and interpersonal difficulty (DSM-IV-TR; American Psychiatric Association, 2000)
Although psychosexual dysfunction is not life threatening, it can have a very significantly detrimental effect upon your self-esteem and relationships.
Our sexuality incorporates family, society and religious beliefs, and changes with the aging process; therefore all these areas can be affected as they interrelate.
Psychosexual dysfunction is a sexual dysfunction that is due to psychological causes rather than physical problems, medical illnesses, or the side effects of medication.
Some of the psychological conditions triggering dysfunction include:
- Traumatic sexual experience
- Stress about work or social situation
- Uncertainty about sexual orientation
- Worry or fear about sexual performance
- Negative body image
- Recent pregnancy ( This can result from the changes in hormone levels that occur after pregnancy, from postnatal depression, or for stress and fatigue that follow pregnancy due to new life adjustments)
- Fear due to previous disturbing or painful sexual experience or encounters
- Religious, social or cultural restrictions
- Financial worries or family problems
- Abusive relationship with partner
- And some others
Female sexual dysfunction
This condition can be related to vaginismus.
Recurrent or persistent genital pain associated with sexual intercourse. It can be diagnosed in males or females, is not better accounted for by another diagnosis (psychiatric or physical) and is not the direct effect of substance use.
Female Orgasmic Disorder
Delay of orgasm following normal excitement and sexual activity. Due to the widely varied sexual response in woman, the therapist needs to take in account the client´s age and situation as well as expectations. The condition is persistent or occurs frequently and causes significant distress and is not a direct effect of substance use.
Female Sexual Arousal Disorder
Inability to attain or maintain adequate lubrication in response to sexual excitement. Often results in significant distress and is not better accounted for by another disorder or the use of a substance.
Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder
Deficient or absent sexual fantasies and desire for sexual activity. The lack of desire often results in significant distress for the individual and is not better accounted for by another disorder or physical diagnosis.
Recurrent or persistent involuntary spasm of the vaginal muscles that interferes with sexual intercourse. Any organic issues must be ruled out. This symptom causes significant distress and not due to a medical condition or another disorder.
Male Sexual Dysfunction
Male Erectile Disorder (Impotence)
Recurring inability to achieve or maintain an erection until completion of the sexual activity. Bringing significant distress for the individual and is not better accounted for by another disorder (e.g. drug abuse) or physical diagnosis.
Male Orgasmic Disorder
Delay or absence of orgasm following normal excitement and sexual activity. Due to the widely varied sexual response in men, it must be judged by a clinician to be significant, taking into account the person´s age and situation. The condition is persistent or occurs frequently and causes significant distress. Is not a direct effect of substance use.
Ejaculation with minimal sexual stimulation before or shortly after penetration and before the person wishes it. The condition is persistent or occurs frequently and causes significant distress. Is not a direct effect of substance use.
Sexual Aversion Disorder (Male and Female)
Persistent or recurring aversion to or avoidance of sexual activity. The aversion must result in significant distress for the individual and is not better accounted for by another disorder or physical diagnosis. When presented with a sexual opportunity, the individual may experience panic attacks or extreme anxiety.
There can be other sexual difficulties you might have been experiencing, however the ones mentioned above are the most common.