What is Sexual Dysfunction?

Sexual dysfunction occurs when you have a problem that prevents you from wanting or enjoying sexual activity. It can happen anytime. Men and women of all ages experience sexual dysfunction, although the chances increase as you age.

Stress is a common cause of sexual dysfunction. Other causes include:

  • sexual trauma
  • psychological issues
  • diabetes
  • heart disease or other medical conditions
  • drug use
  • alcohol use
  • certain medications


There are four categories of sexual dysfunction. It’s normal not to be in the mood sometimes. None of these should be considered a disorder unless it happens regularly and significantly affects your sexual life:

  • Desire disorder is when you have little or no interest in sexual relations on an ongoing basis.
  • Arousal disorder means you’re emotionally in the mood, but your body isn’t into it.
  • Orgasm disorder means you’re emotionally in the mood, but you have an inability to climax that leaves you frustrated.
  • Pain disorder involves having pain during intercourse.


The following articles contain information on causes of sexual dysfunction and other issues that can affect your sexual enjoyment.

Atrophic Vaginitis

Atrophic vaginitis is an inflammation or irritation of the vagina caused by the thinning of the vaginal lining and by a decrease in lubricating secretions of the vagina.

Inhibited Sexual Desire

Also called hypoactive sexual desire, sexual apathy, and sexual aversion. A lack of interest or aversion to sex that may have either physical or emotional causes.

Intercourse after Delivery

Women can resume sexual intercourse approximately 6 weeks after delivery.

Painful Intercourse

Painful intercourse is also known as dyspareunia. Causes of painful intercourse range from simple problems that are easy to treat, to more complex problems that may require extensive testing and treatment.

Vaginal Dryness

A decrease in female hormone levels, or estrogen, brought about by a variety of reasons, is the primary cause of vaginal dryness. Vaginal dryness affects more than 25 million women at one time or another.