Erectile Dysfunction: What it Is and How to Start with Treatment

Erectile dysfunction (ED) occurs in 10% of men under 35 years old and 50% or more of men over 60 years old. There are many medical and psychological risk factors for ED and a complex and interactive set of variables can lead to ED.

ED is diagnosed based on self-report and is further classified as having organic causes (vascular, hormonal or neurogenic) or psychological. ED due to psychological reasons is usually made as a diagnosis of exclusion when no organic factors are present.

How Women Can Benefit from Treatment for Low Sexual Desire

In our last post, we laid out the reasons why women may experience low sexual desire. In this post, we will dive into the different treatment options for a woman who’s experiencing low sexual desire. 

TREATING LOW SEXUAL DESIRE CAN APPEAR ELUSIVE

There is nowhere to “get” sexual desire, and no medical intervention will cause it to occur. Women’s sexual desire naturally arises when many aspects of a woman’s thoughts, emotions, biology, and relational functioning are working well. 

Why Can Women Have Low Sexual Desire?

“I DON’T WANT TO HAVE SEX ANYMORE”

Low sexual desire in women is the most common presenting complaint in our practice. Research indicates that between 10-28% of women experience low sexual desire for a period of 6 months or longer, and experience the following symptoms:

  • Lack of interest in sex

  • Reduced or absent erotic thoughts

  • Lack of initiating or responding to sexual activity

  • Reduced pleasure during sex

  • Reduced or absent desire during sex

  • Reduction in genital and non-genital sensations

"I feel upset with my husband when he doesn’t help me with the household chores. How can I feel sexual desire for him when I have so many resentments about this?" –Female

Written by Kimberly Keiser

Great question, but first, here’s a little clinical information on low sexual desire!

Low sexual desire is the most common presenting sexual dysfunction in women. Symptoms associated with the DSM 5 Sexual Interest/Arousal Disorder include lack of interest in sex, fewer or no erotic thoughts, not initiating or responding to sexual activity, less pleasure during sex, and reduced sexual sensations. In order to receive a diagnosis of Sexual Interest/Arousal Disorder, a woman must experience distress caused by the symptoms associated with low sexual desire for at least six months. 

"I only feel comfortable and open sexually when I don’t know someone very well. Why is it difficult to be sexually open after I get into a relationship?” –Female

Written by Kimberly Keiser

It is not uncommon for some women to report that they can be sexually and emotionally open and vulnerable only at the beginning of a relationship but then find it difficult to sustain that emotional intensity and sexual openness after the relationship has developed past the infatuation stage. Some women report that once they start to get to know someone, they shut down emotionally and find sexual intimacy very difficult. This can happen despite wanting to be in a long-term relationship or caring about your partner.

At the beginning of a relationship, before people know each other well, it is easier to enter into a fantasy dynamic, where the intensity of the connection is based on the newness of the relationship.