How to Understand and Treat Sexual Dysfunctions?

Sexual dysfunctions include a person’s reaction to a sexual stimulus or some disorders in which he/she has difficulty in achieving sexual satisfaction. As with many health problems, early admission to treatment is very important. At Moodist Psychiatry and Neurology Hospital, people with this problem are given versatile and scientific support.
Sexuality is a positive part of life. A reward of the relationship is an expression of emotional, intellectual, behavioural closeness. It also includes many different dimensions such as feeling love, desire, protection, curiosity about one’s habits and characteristics, dreaming about the present and the future, touching, hugging and kissing. In sexual dysfunction, this can be reversed. Therefore, sexual intercourse does not only mean sexual intercourse. Many individuals want to have a relationship where they establish intimacy, share their inner world without hesitation, and know that they are worth loving and being counted.

Understanding the Physiology of Sexuality

Sexual intercourse progresses within a specific response cycle for males and females. Sexual response cycle is explained by a four-step model as arousal, plateau, orgasm and dissolution. Stimulation takes place in the first step and occurs as a result of fantasy, image, or physical stimuli. As the sexual stimulus intensifies, the plateau phase is passed. In this phase, pleasure gradually increases and lasts until the point of transition to orgasm. The third step, orgasm, is the moment when sexual pleasure is at its peak. At this stage, sexual tension is replaced by rhythmic contractions of the tissues growing with muscles and vasoconversion around the vagina in females and by ejaculation with rhythmic movements in the abdominal muscles and penis in males.

The final step involves the dissolution phase. If there is no orgasm or after the first two steps, the physical changes return to normal with the reduction of sexual tension. This period may vary according to gender, age, continuation of sexual stimulation and whether or not orgasm occurs. Women may enter an orgasm phase again with the continuation of sexual stimulation. In men, a phase called refractory period occurs after thawing. Although there is a recurrent sexual stimulation, men need additional time to get an erection and move to the orgasm stage.

Understanding the cycle of sexual response is important both in determining the stage at which the problem occurs and in creating a differential diagnosis and treatment. The Moodist Medical Team addresses sexual dysfunctions from a multidisciplinary perspective and creates a treatment plan accordingly.

How Sexual Dysfunctions are Understood?

Sexual dysfunctions include a person’s reaction to a sexual stimulus or some disorders consisting of different factors that make it difficult to achieve sexual satisfaction. The individual may have a single sexual dysfunction or more than one at a time. Whether the sexual dysfunction occurs from the person’s first sexual experience, in their subsequent sexual experiences, whether it changes only due to a specific stimulus or the event and partner, and its severity are definitely taken into account by Moodist Psychiatry and Neurology Hospital experts.

Sexual problems can create fears such as unhappiness, despair, distrust, dislike, dislike, rejection, abandonment in the person and/or the people with whom they have an affair. These negative experiences can lead to the problem getting bigger and deeper over time. It is very important that the person makes an early application for treatment if he or she thinks that he or she has a sexual problem.
There is no significant increase or decrease in sexual problems in society compared to previous years. However, individuals now comfortably accept the naturalness of sexuality and that it is a part of life, and are not afraid to demand treatment for a healthy life. It should be remembered that hearsay misinformation or recommendations given by non-experts exacerbate sexual dysfunction. Therefore, instead of living with a problem that has existed for a long time, professional centers should be consulted for an appropriate treatment. Moodist Psychiatry and Neurology Hospital mostly uses psychotherapy methods to solve sexual dysfunctions.

Causes and Influencing Factors

Sexual dysfunction has no known cause. It can develop as a result of the interaction of many biological, environmental and psychological factors. It can also vary depending on age, gender or relationship with partners. The following factors and causes are thoroughly investigated by Moodist Medical Team:

Sexual education: The majority of the problems related to sexuality are the inadequacy of sexual education, false beliefs, the way they were raised, the maintenance of false information with the idea that they are private or shameful, the inadequacy of sexual experience and the belief that the problem will go away spontaneously.

Psychological factors: Performance anxiety, guilt, fear of failure, depression, anxiety disorders, fear of intimate relations, dissatisfaction with the body, decreased interest and desire towards the partner, relationship problems with the partner, traumatic sexual experiences, grief, job loss, substance abuse.

Medical disorders: Internal (diabetes, blood pressure, thyroid), neurological, gynaecological, urological, and oncological problems may coexist with sexual dysfunctions. It should not be overlooked that organic pathologies also have psychogenic aspects.

Medicines Some of the antihypertensive, antidepressant, antipsychotic, sedative and anxiolytic drugs may adversely affect sexual function.

Age Anatomical changes and physical disorders due to aging in both males and females can affect sexual functioning. Especially with the advancement of age, vaginal dryness and erectile loss are more common in women and men. However, as you get older, sexuality does not decrease. Studies have shown that men between the ages of 30-39 have sexual intercourse once a week and this rate is once a year between the ages of 90-99. In addition, it has been observed that both men and women have relations between the ages of 20-50 on average 2-4 times a week, and this rate decreases when they are 50 years of age and older, but sexual interest persists.

Evaluation: One of the most important steps in providing appropriate treatment to the person and, where necessary, to the partner is to cooperate with the physician and psychologist specialized in this field. Support is obtained from gynecology, urology and neurology departments by adopting a multidisciplinary approach where necessary. During the evaluation process, the following cases of sexual dysfunction are examined, and Moodist Experts may request some additional tests to better understand the person and create an appropriate treatment plan during the evaluation period:

  • Thoughts, feelings and behaviours about sexuality and sexual problem,
  • How the person and partner perceive the problem,
  • How long has he been carrying these symptoms,
  • To what extent the problem affects daily life and relationships,
  • Whether there were similar complaints before,
  • Whether the problem is shared with other people,
  • If a treatment has already been taken, how useful this process is,
  • Current treatment expectations and motivation.

How are Sexual Dysfunctions Treated in Moodist?

Moodist Psychiatry and Neurology Hospital plans a treatment that meets the subjective psychological needs of the person with the most advanced facilities and expert psychiatrist and psychologist staff that provide the conditions required by science and technology in the treatment of mental and brain health related diseases.

Sexuality is an important part of a healthy life, and sexual dysfunctions can be treated. Sharing sexual problems can initially be uncomfortable and worrying for the person. Moodist Psychiatry and Neurology Hospital provides an environment in which the person is not judged during the treatment, can feel comfortable and is based on confidentiality and trust.  Treatment methods and supportive approaches used at Moodist Psychiatry and Neurology Hospital include:

  • Drug Treatment
  • Psychometric Tests
  • Psychotherapies (CBT, EMDR, Psychodynamic, Mindfulness, Hypnotherapy, Psychotherapy, Schema, Family, Group)
  • Psychological Training
  • Drug Treatment

You can apply for treatment as an adult or elderly person, couple or individual, married, single, living together, divorced, and separated, with children, having had sexual intercourse or no previous sexual intercourse. 

During the treatment and evaluation process, the applicant may be asked to participate in pairs if there is an association. Studies show that those who participated in pairs received a positive response of 84 per cent and continued treatment at regular intervals, while those who continued alone remained 51 per cent.

Treatments with couples provide information about the factors that continue the problem, reveal the communication of the couple, and allow the sexual dysfunction to be restructured rather than being one’s own problem.

If the treatment is applied in pairs, separate interviews are held with each individual about the sexual history and the sexual problem applied to. Afterwards, treatment goals and interview intervals are determined with couples.

Various psychological tests can be applied by Moodist Hospital experts to make the correct diagnosis and to create an effective treatment plan. Psychometric tests performed by specialist psychiatrists and psychologists are scientifically based measurement and evaluation tools. In the treatment, intellectual, behavioural and emotional processes are discussed. In cases where physical examination is required, the person is referred to a gynecologist, urologist or necessary specialist.

Drugs and psychotherapy are used together or separately depending on the course, severity and duration of the disease. In addition, even if the healing process is initiated to prevent recurrence of symptoms in sexual dysfunction, medication should not be discontinued without consulting a doctor.

Psychotherapies are very important in dealing with sexual dysfunction, recognizing symptoms, early detection, increasing treatment compliance and social-occupational functionality. In addition to Sexual Therapy and Couple Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Couple Therapy, EMDR (desensitization and reprocessing with eye movements), Psychodynamic, Mindfulness, Hypnotherapy, Psychodrama, Schema can also be used by Moodist Medical Team in the treatment of sexual dysfunction.

Early initiation of treatment and regular follow-up increase the efficiency of the treatment. The prolongation of the time between sessions disrupts the continuity of treatment and creates difficulties in applying what is learned during the treatment process.

Treatment is performed within the framework of ethical rules in an office or hospital. At Moodist Psychiatry and Neurology Hospital, therapies are performed within the framework of scientific evidence. The therapist cannot offer personal opinions and experiences as advice.

People are not obligated to answer questions or work that make them feel bad. In such cases, a common solution is reached by sharing this problem with the psychologist and/or doctor.

The information on this page has been prepared by the Moodist Psychiatry and Neurology Hospital Medical Team.

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