What are psychosexual difficulties?

Psychosexual difficulties or disorders are a group of problems involving sex. For some people, the causes may be rooted in physical conditions, psychological reasons, or a combination of both. Difficulties can be temporary or more long term. 

There are generally three main categories of disorders, including sexual dysfunction, paraphilias (unusual or abnormal sexual activity) and gender identity disorders.

As many as 35% of men and 54% of women experience psychosexual difficulties at some point during their adult lives. Despite this high prevalence, sexual dysfunction is often endured in silence. 

We understand it is hard to talk about sexual problems, however, with appropriate diagnosis and treatment, sexual problems can be overcome.

Types of psychosexual difficulties

The main types of psychosexual difficulties experienced by men and women can include:

  • Sexual dysfunction – A lack of sexual desire, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, painful sex, lack of sexual enjoyment, sexual addiction and sexual aversion.
  • Paraphilias – Are characterised by unusual or abnormal sexual behaviour, including sexual attraction to unusual objects or activity, such as fetishism, exhibitionism, sadism and voyeurism and more
  • Gender identity disorders – Commonly known as gender dysphoria, gender identity disorders cause much distress, when individuals do not identify with the sex they were born with. 

What causes psychosexual difficulties?

Psychosexual disorders often arise because of physical, environmental, or psychological factors, and at times it is difficult to separate one from the other.

They may arise due to difficult emotions such as guilt, stress, anxiety, nervousness, worry, fear, depression. Additionally, they can be influenced by distorted body image, physical or emotional trauma, abuse, and rape. 

Some of the main common causes of psychosexual difficulties include:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Emotional or physical trauma
  • Cultural factors (such as religion and other conflicting factors)

Treatment for psychosexual difficulties at Nightingale Hospital

Our approach to treating psychosexual difficulties at Nightingale Hospital London combines individualised programmes with treatments based on current clinical evidence. Every aspect of a patient’s lifestyle, history and sexual experiences has to be taken into account in order to create a personalised treatment programme that draws on a range of physical and psychological interventions.

A majority of sexual problems are caused by a mixture of physical and psychological factors. Most people require an integrated treatment approach, where medical and psychological interventions are combined to address underlying causes. Research suggests that when psychosexual therapy is combined with appropriate medication, results are significantly better.

We have the expertise to approach the support and treatment we offer you for your psychosexual problems in a personal and flexible way to benefit you the most in your recovery.

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