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Reduced sexual desire or activity is common among women and men.
Before treatment can begin, it is necessary to determine whether the dysfunction
caused by physical causes like
alcoholism, heavy smoking, side effects of medications, or hormonal problems. Only sexual dysfunction due to psychological factors is called psychosexual dysfunction.
Factors that may increase your chances of developing psychosexual dysfunction include:
Stress or anxiety from work or social situations
Recent pregnancy—This can result from the changes in hormone levels that occur after pregnancy, from postpartum depression, or from stress and fatigue that follow pregnancy because of adjusting to a new baby.
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms, your medical history, and your sexual history. A physical exam will be done. Make sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are currently taking. Your doctor may also ask questions about your partner.
Your bodily fluids may be tested. This can be done with blood tests.
You may have a psychological assessment. This can be done with:
A depression scale
A mini-mental state examination (MMSE)
Men may have tests done to assess erection ability. This can be done with:
A snap gauge
A vascular assessment
Women may have additional tests done, such as:
A vaginal exam
Tests of bodily fluids, such as cultures or vaginal samples
If your doctor does not find anything significant from the examination or these tests, your doctor may refer you to a psychologist or psychiatrist.
There are no known ways to prevent psychosexual dysfunction.
To help reduce your chances of developing psychosexual dysfunction:
Stay aware of your psychological or emotional health.
Call your doctor or mental health provider if you feel any problems surfacing again, you are experiencing excessive stress, or you anticipate a stressful situation in the near future.
Spend time alone with your partner often, especially nonsexual intimate time, to help maintain the relationship. This will most likely lead to increase sexual interest.
Continue to communicate openly with your partner about intimacy and sexual issues.
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Cutler SJ, Smith W, et al. Treatment of sexual dysfunction.
US Pharmacist. 2002;23(5).
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Glass CA. Addressing psychosexual dysfunction in neurological rehabilitation settings.
Journal of Mental Health.
Phillips NA. Female sexual dysfunction: evaluation and treatment.
American Family Physician. 2000;62(1):127-136.
Reiner WG, Gearhart JP, et al. Psychosexual dysfunction in males with genital anomalies: Late adolescence, Tanner states IV to VI,
Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.
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