While we talk quite openly about respiratory problems and digestive issues, Indians tend to shy away from talking about sexual problems. However, not talking about them does not make them go away. There are many different types of sexual problems that one may face.These can be categorized as physical problems, psychological problems and STDs. To tackle these issues and lead a healthy life as well as enjoy your relationship with your partner, you need to know in-depth about sexual problems.
- Physical Sexual Problems:
- Psychological Sexual Problems:
- Can Sexual Problems Be Treated?
- Overcoming the Idea of Sexual Dysfunction Being A Taboo:
- E-consulting for Sexual Issues:
Physical Sexual Problems:
Physical sexual dysfunction can be caused by many factors. This includes underlying issues such as heart and vascular diseases, diabetes, hormonal imbalances, neurological disorders, alcoholism, drug abuse and chronic conditions such as liver or kidney failure. Some physical sexual issues may also be caused by prolonged use of certain types of medication.
In the case of women, menopause is another common cause of sexual dysfunction. As a woman ages, her hormonal levels change. This can lead to a lack of interest in sex and cause vaginal lubrication issues.
The most common physical sexual problems faced by men are:
- Ejaculation disorders:
This could be experienced as:
- Premature ejaculation – when a man ejaculates before or just after penetration. This is the most common sexual problem amongst Indian men.
- Inhibited or retarded ejaculation – when a man ejaculates after a very long time
- Retrograde ejaculation – when the semen to be ejaculated goes back to the bladder through the urethra instead of being released.
- Erectile dysfunction:
Erectile dysfunction refers to a man’s inability to achieve and maintain an erection for long enough to have sexual intercourse. Erectile dysfunction is not synonymous with infertility. This may be caused by issues with blood circulation, nerve disorders, performance anxiety, chronic illnesses or a condition known as Peyronie’s disease.
The most common sexual problems faced by women are:
- Inability to be aroused:
Many women fail to be aroused by foreplay. This can lead to a lack of lubrication that makes sex uncomfortable and painful.
This refers to a woman’s inability to orgasm. The absence of an orgasm can make sex unsatisfactory for both partners. It may be caused by a number of psychological factors including guilt, prior experiences, anxiety, inhibited sexual desire or earlier abuse.
- Painful intercourse:
Some women may experience pain during sexual intercourse. This may be caused by an STD, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, lack of lubrication or other infections.
This is a condition where the muscles surrounding the vagina spasm painfully. This usually stems from sexual phobias and prior traumatic experiences.
Psychological Sexual Problems:
In some cases, a couple may find it difficult to get in the ‘mood’ despite not having any physical issues. This may be caused by stress, anxiety, relationship issues, feelings of guilt, concern about earlier sexual experiences, depression etc.
A loss of libido or sex drive is the most common psychological sexual problem. This is most often caused by stress, anxiety and relationship issues. However, it may also be triggered by other factors such as hormonal imbalance, diabetes, high blood pressure and may be a side effect of certain medications.
Many women see sex as a way of keeping their partners loyal to them. Thus, they often suppress their own sexual happiness for their partner’s sake. This can lead to irritation, depression and anger that may cause rifts in the relationship and worsen sexual problems.
Psychological sexual issues and a couple’s relationship have a cause and effect relationship. While stress and discord between the couple can cause a loss of sex drive, a reduced sex drive can also be the cause of discord. Similarly, other sexual problems that make intercourse unsatisfactory may also cause problems in a couple’s relationship.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases of STDs are quite common amongst Indians. These diseases can affect both men and women. People with multiple sexual partners have a high risk of contracting an STD. Some of the most common STDs are Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Herpes, HPV and Trichomoniasis. HIV and AIDS are also STDs. Depending on the type of STD, the infection can spread through oral, vaginal or anal sex. In cases of STDs like HIV, any exchange of bodily fluids can cause an infection to spread.
Can Sexual Problems Be Treated?
Most Indians are shy about consulting a doctor for sexual problems. This is quite surprising actually, given India’s high population. Slowly, people have become a little more open to the idea of seeking help for such issues.
To diagnose a sexual problem, the doctor needs to know the type of issues being experienced and their severity. Thus, it is important to be honest and clear about these things. This may be followed by a physical examination. In some cases, lab tests may also be required to check for underlying diseases.
Sexual problems can be treated in a number of ways. In some cases, medication alone can help relieve the issue. In others, more intensive treatment may be required. For conditions like endometriosis that causes painful intercourse, surgery may be beneficial. For men, medical aids such as penile implants and vacuum devices may be advised to help with erectile dysfunction.
Counselling is another aspect of treating sexual problems. This can help a person deal with past traumatic experiences, stress, anxiety and depression that may be contributing to sexual problems. Counselling may also be used to treat relationship issues that cause sexual dysfunction.
Counselling is also a way of educating people about their sexual health. By understanding the human anatomy and sexual functioning, patients can overcome their anxieties about performance and have a more satisfactory sexual experience.
Overcoming the Idea of Sexual Dysfunction Being A Taboo:
Sexual problems are no more unnatural than other health issues. Yet, sex is unnecessarily a taboo subject across many cultures, including India. This, despite the fact that, if a couple do not have a healthy sex life, very often:
- their relationship is not emotionally healthy
- they suffer from frustration
- the ability to have children of their own gets affected
Added to this is the fact that people in India also consult quacks to help them with sexual issues, which can further worsen the situation.
It becomes imperative therefore for couples to open up to the idea of talking about such issues. Instead of consulting roadside quacks, a specialist doctor should be consulted for help. If you feel shy talking to a doctor about your problem, remember that every doctor is under oath to keep your problems confidential and will not speak of them to someone else.
E-consulting for Sexual Issues:
Many Indians are turning towards e-consulting with doctors for sexual issues. This medium allows people to talk about their issues without inhibitions whilst maintaining their privacy. In fact, a trend noticeable across the E-consulting platform, especially in India, is the high number of calls sexologists get on sexual issues. This is due to the fact that, patients feel comfortable and safe discussing the issues of their private sex-life over the phone and sometimes over a video call, though phone calls are more common probably due to the fact that the patient feels assured that no one is seeing him/her. If at any time you feel the need to discuss any sexual problems you may be facing, you can book an appointment with a sexologist through Medlife E-consult. You can have a e-consultation right from the privacy of your home and at a time convenient to you.
In fact, in an effort to get people to open up and talk about such intimate issues, Medlife is also organizing a free live webinar on 27th October’18 “Reigniting the Spark of Intimacy” at 1:00 PM on the eve of Karva Chauth. This could be a great opportunity for you to leave behind your inhibitions and learn more about how to develop greater intimacy with your partner not just sexually but on all levels, such as emotional, intellectual, experiential etc.
This webinar will feature a panel of established specialists such as gynaecologists and sexologists. Register yourself for this free webinar to understand more about sexual problems and why we need to stop being judgemental about these issues.
Watching Porn Is Same As Smoking Weed, A Study by NIMHANS
– 23rd Nov 2018
A study that was published by the Open Journal of Psychiatry and Allied Sciences stated that youth who watched pornography had the same brain stimulation similar to that of what cannabis gave. The study also brought of the fact that youth prefer watching pornography for a minimum of 5 to six hours daily and in extreme cases, it would be 15 hours daily.
This study on behavioural sciences shows that technology can make you a person virtual enough that he/she can substitute their anger or sadness by relying on porn. Some of the other problems associated with pornography and cynical mindedness are gambling, eating disorders, excessive work and exercise.
The study also points out a case study of a 23-year-old man struggling with pornographic addiction and various other psychological factors that reflect his expression in his daily life. However, when studying how a person’s brain works the research concluded that the person had the same brain stimulation similar to that of what cannabis gave.
The study also stated that pornography leads to various other behavioural studies like tobacco consumption, alcoholic abuse and consuming cannabis. Moreover, the 23-year-old man is currently undergoing treatment in NIMHANS hospital, Bengaluru.