There are many ways to treat sexual dysfunction, including counseling, treatment of other physical problems, mechanical devices, prescription and over-the-counter medications, and dietary supplements.
Here is a quick overview of some of these different options.
The cause of sexual dysfunction can be physical, medical, or psychological. Physical causes include several health conditions, such as
heart disease, diabetes, injury, surgery, or hormonal imbalances. Side effects of medications used to treat these conditions or other conditions can also have negative sexual side effects. Psychological causes can include
anxiety, marital problems,
depression, and previous traumatic sexual experiences.
Whether it affects arousal, performance, or climax, sexual dysfunction is a real problem for the men and women who have it. Once the problem is identified, sexual dysfunction may resolve on its own, or it may respond to treatment or resolution of the underlying condition.
Sexual Enhancement Drugs
Sildenafil , tadalafil, or vardenafil may be used to treat
in men. It works by improving blood flow to the penis.
Alternative Sexual Enhancement Therapies
Certain natural remedies may be helpful for sexual dysfunction. For example, the herb
Korean red ginseng
might be helpful for men who have ED, and the hormone
might be helpful in improving sexual function in older women.
US Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) does not regulate these products, their purity and safety is often in question. The
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health
advises that no complementary health therapies have proven to be safe and effective. In fact, safety is a serious concern with regard to dietary supplements promoted for ED or sexual enhancement. Make sure to talk to your doctor before taking any medications or supplements.
In addition to medications and natural remedies, examples of other treatment options include:
Couples therapy sessions to address emotional and relationship issues that may be causing sexual dysfunction
Vacuum devices for men to increase blood flow to the genitals to help with arousal difficulties
Hormone therapy to treat hormonal insufficiencies that are involved in some cases of sexual dysfunction
If you are having problems with sexual function, remember it is treatable. Make an appointment to talk with your doctor so you can find a safe treatment plan that works for you.
Erectile dysfunction—sexual enhancement. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health website. Available at: https://nccih.nih.gov/health/sex/erectiledysfunction.htm. Updated October 4, 2017. Accessed October 24, 2017.
Impotence. EBSCO Natural and Alternative Treatments website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/biomedical-libraries/natural-alternative-treatments. Updated December 15, 2015. Accessed October 24, 2017.
Sexual dysfunction in women. EBSCO Natural and Alternative Treatments website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/biomedical-libraries/natural-alternative-treatments. Updated December 15, 2015. Accessed October 24, 2017.
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at email@example.com. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.