Causes of Sexual Dysfunction in Men and Women

There are a number of causes of sexual dysfunction . They are grouped into two categories: physical causes and psychological causes.

Physical Causes

There are many physical causes of sexual dysfunction. For example, the following diseases and conditions can lead to problems with sexual function:

  • Urological infections or cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease (heart disease and blood vessel disease)
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Alcoholism
  • Drug abuse
  • Neurological disorders
  • Chronic diseases, such as kidney failure
  • Nerve damage

Many medications can cause problems with normal sexual functioning, including blood pressure medications and antidepressants, as can alcohol and recreational drug use. Some medical treatments can affect sexual function as well. For example, some surgical procedures can cause nerve damage that can affect sexual function.

Psychological Causes

Many people have psychologically induced sexual dysfunction. Things like concern about sexual performance, feelings of guilt about sexual desire and activity, relationship problems, depression, stress, anxiety self-esteem or body image issues, and the effects of past sexual trauma, such as rape, molestation or a negative sexual experience can all have a negative effect on sexual function.

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