There are several sexual disorders that can have a direct and harmful effect on both males and females—a few examples include hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), sexual aversion disorder (SAD), and male or female orgasmic disorders. These disorders are characterized by specific sexual dysfunctions, such as low sex drive, aversion or avoidance of sexual activity, and other physical and psychological issues. But sometimes an individual experiences a wide range of symptoms across all or several of these disorders—in these cases, a diagnosis of unspecified sexual dysfunction is typically determined. There is less known about this disorder, but effective treatment options are still available to individuals who suffer from it.
Diagnosing Unspecified Sexual Dysfunction DSM-5 302.70 (F52.9)
As previously mentioned, the symptoms of unspecified sexual dysfunction aren’t so clear cut—they can vary in each individual, but they typically present as common signs of other sexual disorders. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), the biggest indicator and criterion for this disorder (and other sexual disorders) is marked distressed in one’s life as a direct effect of a lack of sexual activity or performance. Other symptoms may include:
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- An inability to achieve orgasm (in males or females)
- Lack of vaginal lubrication
- An inability to achieve erection
- Low sex drive
- Lack of interest in sex
- Personal and/or relationship issues
What Causes Unspecified Sexual Dysfunction? Is It Preventable?
Like the symptoms of unspecified sexual dysfunction, the causes of this disorder can vary from person to person—they may be physiological or psychological. For instance, one’s dysfunction may stem from stress, a history of sexual abuse, other mental illnesses like depression, or general emotional issues. Physical factors may also be the cause of unspecified sexual dysfunction, such as damage to nerves or blood vessels in a male or female’s genital region, which can be caused by injury or disease. The exact symptoms of one’s disorder will often lead to a discovery and better understanding of the underlying cause in a given individual.
Seeking Treatment for Unspecified Sexual Dysfunction?
There is treatment for unspecified sexual dysfunction, which will range in effectiveness depending upon what symptoms an individual is experiencing and what underlying cause has been determined or suspected. The following are sexual dysfunction issues and their corresponding effective treatment methods, which often involve therapy:
- Lack of sexual desire: If an individual experiences a lack of interest in sexual activity and/or fantasies, they may suffer distress or relationship issues as a result. In order to resolve these feelings, therapy can help people identify what their negative attitudes and thoughts about sex are, understand where they’re coming from, and reframe these thoughts in a more positive way.
- Erectile dysfunction: This makes sexual intercourse difficult to impossible and can have a serious effect on one’s relationship, just like a lack of sexual desire can. One of the main causes of this is performance anxiety, which can be treated through therapy. Here, therapy focuses on reducing anxiety triggered by the thought of sexual intercourse.
- Premature ejaculation: Possible causes of this aren’t clear, but premature ejaculation can cause emotional distress, so it is important to seek treatment. Therapy will help individuals with this issue focus on behavioral change and training. And with the help of his partner, an individual can learn to withstand stimulation.
- Painful intercourse: Also known as dyspareunia, painful intercourse is persistent genital pain, which often leads to significant distress or relationship issues. In men, this form of sexual dysfunction is typically rooted in a physical problem; therefore, they should consult a urologist or gynecologist to address possible medical concerns. In women, however, painful intercourse is treated with relaxation training.
Targeting these specific symptoms and causes will help resolve other symptoms and effects of one’s sexual dysfunction, such as relationship issues, diminished self-confidence, and emotional distress. The road to recovery and treatment process is not always an easy one, but it is certainly always worth it. So, say yes to treatment today and reap the many benefits that come with confronting and defeating your sexual dysfunction.