Some of the most common sexual health problems are erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and a lack of desire to have intercourse. In addition, some people experience sexually transmitted diseases or infections that must be treated by qualified health professionals. Many sexual health problems are more common in one gender or the other, but the vast majority of them are capable of affecting anyone. If a person suspects that he or she has a problem, the best course of action is seeing a health professional. In some cases, the problem can get worse or never get better without being addressed.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) occurs when a man cannot get or maintain an erection. Stress, the use of illegal drugs and some prescription medications can contribute to or cause ED. This sexual health problem is different for every man, but a health professional can help determine the cause and treatment. ED is most common in older men, although it can occur in men of all ages.
Premature ejaculation is a sexual health problem that affects men of all ages and experience levels. It occurs before or at the beginning of a sexual encounter, with the man ejaculating well before he intended. The problem is often associated with anxiety, certain medications and the use of substances such as alcohol or tobacco. Sometimes an injury or hormonal problem is at fault instead.
A sexual health problem that affects both men and women is lack of desire. Basically, the person feels no desire to have intercourse or engage in other sexual activities. Generally, lack of desire is considered a problem only if it affects a person long-term rather than a day or a couple of weeks. This problem can be caused by certain medications, emotional problems or breastfeeding.
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are another sexual health problem that is capable of affecting both genders. Some STDs are more commonly found in one gender, although the opposite gender can be a carrier without symptoms. The odds of getting an STD can be significantly lessened by using condoms as instructed on the packaging. Safe sex is sometimes taught to teenagers in schools, but more information is available online or at local sexual health clinics.
A significant percentage of women develop urinary tract infections (UTIs) after becoming sexually active. These infections are treated with antibiotics, but recurrence is relatively common. Women who experience six or more UTIs within 12 months usually are given other treatment options. For example, an antibiotic to take before or after intercourse to prevent infection is commonly recommended.