Psychosexual Dysfunction



Psychosexual dysfunction is caused by mental health problems, such as:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Prior abuse or rape
  • Guilty feelings
  • Stress
  • Not feeling good about yourself
Brain in silhouette
Mental or emotional problems are at the center of the dysfunction.
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Risk Factors

Things that may raise the risk of this problem are:

  • Having any of the mental health problems that cause it
  • Problems at work
  • Problems with the people in a person's life
  • Hormone changes or postpartum depression from having a baby
  • Worrying about your sexual orientation
  • Worrying about having sex
  • Prior bad feelings or pain
  • Conflict with your partner
  • Guilt or worry because of religion or the way of life where you live
  • Money problems
  • Family problems
  • Abuse from your partner



Symptoms differ for men and women.


  • Not able to keep an erection
  • Ejaculate too soon or not at all
  • Not able to be aroused at the right moments
  • Not able to reach orgasm
  • Lessened desire for sex


  • Not able to reach orgasm
  • Low desire for sex
  • Muscles around the vagina that tighten without control and cause pain
  • Pain during sex
  • Dry vagina


The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam may be done. A mental health exam may also be done. Blood tests may also be done.



Treatment depends on the cause. One or both of these methods may be used:

  • Medicines to balance hormones or treat mental health problems
  • Individual or couples therapy


There are no known guidelines to prevent this health problem.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.