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Sexual Dysfunction Disorders Classification

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Sexual Dysfunction Disorders Classification

Sexual dysfunction refers to a multitude of symptoms or ailments that may compromise the quality of sex life. In other words, any event that alters the intensity or duration of sexual response cycle and interferes with the sexual gratification/satisfaction can be classified under sexual dysfunction (SD).

Investigators and clinicians describe the primary phases of sexual response cycle as:

It is imperative to mention that SD is fairly common in both males and females; but the prevalence is slightly higher in males under the age of 50 years. On the other hand, the prevalence increases abruptly in females after menopause. According to latest estimates, approximately 31% males and 43% females experience sexual dysfunction at some point of their life.


Sexual Dysfunction in Males vs. Females

Most common clinical varieties of female sexual dysfunction are:

Most common clinical varieties of male sexual dysfunction include:


Classification of Sexual Dysfunction Disorders

The 4 primary sexual dysfunction disorders are:

1. Orgasm Disorders

The affected individual fails to achieve orgasm; in other words climax is not achieved or is significantly delayed. Many physical factors are implicated in the pathogenesis of orgasmic disorders; such as:


2. Sexual Arousal Disorders

These individuals experience poor arousal or loss of interest in sexual activities. Severe cases of sexual arousal disorder may lead to impotency in males and constrained relationships in females. Poorly managed sexual arousal disorders are almost always associated with decline in sexual excitement, pleasure and orgasms.

Some common factors that may lead to sexual arousal disorder are:


3. Pain Disorders

Painful intercourse (also referred to as dyspareunia in sophisticated medical terms) is a fairly common cause of poor libido in both males and females. Some common causes of pain disorders are in females are:

Common causes of pain disorder in males are:


4. Desire Disorders

This disorder includes a loss on interest in initiating an intercourse. This condition is often referred to as low libido and is usually transient. A decline in male and female sexual hormones can affect sexual desires. Other vital factors include:

If you are experiencing sexual dysfunction, it is very important to discuss your case with a registered healthcare professional to learn more about the causes, risk factors and appropriate therapeutic options.



  1. Christensen, B. S., Grønbæk, M., Osler, M., Pedersen, B. V., Graugaard, C., & Frisch, M. (2011). Sexual dysfunctions and difficulties in Denmark: Prevalence and associated sociodemographic factors. Archives of sexual behavior, 40(1), 121-132.
  2. Martelli, V., Valisella, S., Moscatiello, S., Matteucci, C., Lantadilla, C., Costantino, A., … & Meriggiola, M. C. (2012). Prevalence of sexual dysfunction among postmenopausal women with and without metabolic syndrome. The journal of sexual medicine, 9(2), 434-441.
  3. Den Oudsten, B. L., Traa, M. J., Thong, M. S. Y., Martijn, H., De Hingh, I. H. J. T., Bosscha, K., & van de Poll-Franse, L. V. (2012). Higher prevalence of sexual dysfunction in colon and rectal cancer survivors compared with the normative population: a population-based study. European Journal of Cancer, 48(17), 3161-3170.
  4. Manolis, A., & Doumas, M. (2012). Antihypertensive treatment and sexual dysfunction. Current hypertension reports, 14(4), 285-292.
  5. Baldwin, D. S., & Foong, T. (2013). Antidepressant drugs and sexual dysfunction. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 202(6), 396-397.
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