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Sexual Dysfunction: Free advice – ask me today!

If you would like help and advice with your sexual problems then ask me today.

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By Dr Helen Webberley
MBChB MRCGP MFSRH | GMC no. 3657058

Please note that this service does not aim to replace advice given to you by your own doctor, it is meant to supplement your health knowledge and awareness. It is not ever to be used in the case of a medical emergency.
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Sexual dysfunction – Causes and Treatments

Sexual dysfunction is a common problem, yet many people are too embarrassed to seek help, which can cause a lot of heartache for them and also in their relationships. Here, we discuss the common forms of sexual dysfunction, and explain how they can be treated, in order to clarify any myths, and educate patents on the help available.

Physical causes of erectile dysfunction include medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, raised blood pressure and low testosterone. Certain medications can also cause impotence. Consumption of alcohol, recreational drugs and smoking can also be a factor.

If you suffer with erectile dysfunction you should ask for help. It is important to get checked out for other problems which may be happening at the same time. Psychological issues can be addressed, and physical causes checked out.

Medical treatments for erectile dysfunction can be very safe and come in tablets, creams, injections and pellets.

For men with low testosterone, hormone replacement therapy can be used alongside erection-helping drugs to treat impotence.

Premature ejaculation can be caused by over-excitement, an acute sensitivity of the local nervous system, anxiety and stress.

A psychosexual therapist can help men who suffer premature ejaculation to learn techniques to try and delay ejaculation. There are creams which can be applied to the penis to dull the sensation, but this can often transfer to their partner too. Some men find condoms help and also squeezing the penis to prevent ejaculation. Certain anti-depressant drugs are also licensed to help treat premature ejaculation.

Sexual Dysfunction in Men

It is estimated that 1 in 10 males suffers with some form of sexual dysfunction. It is much more common a problem than most people think. Erectile dysfunction (ED, impotence), when a man cannot get, or maintain, an erection can have various causes. Psychological causes tend to affect younger males and can include nerves, stress and even over thinking getting an erection. More serious psychological problems about sex will need the help of a psychosexual therapist.

Sexual Dysfunction in Women

Many women may find it difficult to reach orgasm on a regular basis; this is referred to as anorgasmia. Anorgasmia can be caused by aging, illness, pregnancy, gynaecological surgeries and medication. Psychological issues such as stress, depression and relationship troubles can also play a role. Talk to your GP; treatments include cognitive therapy and lifestyle changes. There currently are no approved drug treatments for anorgasmia.

Low libido, or sex drive, is a common problem which affects many women. It can cause tension in relationships and low self-confidence. A low or diminished libido can be caused by many psychological factors such as aging, stress, depression, exhaustion and relationship problems. Certain medications, such as the contraceptive pill or anti-depressants, can also cause a loss of libido. If you are finding a loss of libido is causing you problems in your relationship then talk to your doctor. He can refer you for therapy treatment or look at changing any medications you are taking.

There are many different forms of sexual dysfunction, and seeing a professional about your worries shouldn’t be embarrassing. If you’re struggling with sexual dysfunction in any form, seeking treatment could transform your relationship and really be a real weight off your shoulders.

FAQ

What is the menopause?
When the ovaries shut down at the end of the reproductive life, they stop producing eggs and they also stop producing the female hormones. This lack of oestrogen and progesterone can cause problems.
Symptoms of the menopause.
  • hot flushes
  • night sweats
  • vaginal dryness
  • loss of libido (sex drive)
  • stress incontinence (leaking urine when you cough or sneeze)
  • bone thinning – which can lead to osteoporosis and fractures
Ways of Taking HRT
  • cream – applied to the vaginal area
  • tablets – which can be taken by mouth
  • a patch that you stick on your skin
  • an implant – under local anaesthetic, small pellets of oestrogen are inserted under the skin of your tummy, buttock or thigh
  • oestrogen gel – which is applied to the skin and absorbed
Who Should Have HRT?
  • All women under 50 who have gone through the menopause should be encouraged to use HRT.
  • In women under 60 suffering with the symptoms of the menopause, the benefits of HRT usually outweigh the risks.
  • The upper age limit should be based on symptoms and not set at an arbitrary level. If the symptoms persist then again the benefits usually outweigh the risks.
Who Can't Take HRT?
You may not be able to take HRT if you have:

  • a history of breast cancer, ovarian cancer or womb cancer
  • a history of blood clots
  • a history of heart disease or stroke
  • untreated high blood pressure – your blood pressure will need to be controlled before you can start HRT
  • liver disease
  • abnormal bleeding down below that has not been investigated
Potential Side Effects of HRT
  • fluid retention
  • bloating
  • breast tenderness or swelling
  • headaches
  • indigestion
  • depression
How Can I Get HRT?
Sometimes GPs can be scared to prescribe HRT. If you would like to discuss whether HRT would be suitable for you then contact Dr Webberley and discuss your case in person.

Medication

Medicine Name

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Medicine Name

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Medicine Name

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Blood Tests

Blood Test Name

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Blood Test Name

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Blood Test Name

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