Sexual dysfunction is a general term referring to problems that prevents a person or couple from experiencing satisfaction from sexual activity in the very broad sense of excitement, pleasure, up to infertility.
Symptoms of sexual dysfunction in men may show as the inability to achieve or maintain an erection suitable for intercourse (erectile dysfunction), absent or delayed ejaculation, early or premature ejaculation, lack of interest for sex, arousal issues, and pain during intercourse.
In women it can, for instance, show as the inability to achieve an orgasm, inadequate vaginal lubrication, inability to relax the vaginal muscles, lack of desire for sex, inability to become aroused, or pain during intercourse.
Causes of sexual dysfunction may be emotional (psychological), physical or medical, such as diabetes, heart and vascular disease, neurological disorders, traumatic experiences, all forms of stress, anxiety, low self-esteem and body image issues, relationship problems, hormonal imbalances, chronic diseases such as kidney or liver failure, depressions, feelings of guilt, and alcoholism or drug abuse. Also side effects of medications can affect sexual function.
Most types of sexual dysfunction can be treated by addressing the underlying physical or psychological issues. Common treatments are medication, mechanical aids, surgery, massage and bodywork, sex therapy and counseling, behavioral treatments, psychotherapy, education and communication.