Many women and men experience trouble with sexual function at some point. Sexual problems can involve trouble during any phase of the sexual act (such as desire, arousal and orgasm). A sexual problem can occur suddenly or develop gradually over an extended period of time. There are a number of specific sexual disorders, which are generally organized into the following four categories: sexual desire disorders, sexual arousal disorders, orgasm disorders and sexual pain disorders. Sexual desire disorders are characterized by a low libido or a lack of desire for sex. Sexual arousal disorders are characterized by the inability to respond normally physically during sexual arousal.
In men, this may be erectile dysfunction, and women may experience vaginal dryness. Orgasm disorders are defined by the continuing delay or complete nonappearance of orgasm following a normal sexual encounter. Sexual pain disorders, which generally only affect women, are characterized by painful intercourse. The causes of sexual disorders can vary considerably but some influencing factors may include fluctuating hormones, aging, emotional strain, stress, anxiety, depression, fatigue, lifestyle, certain medicines (some antidepressants for example), chronic disease or past sexual trauma. A mental health professional can help a person or couple experiencing a sexual problem to identify the cause, learn ways of coping, and often, resolve it completely.