Common sexual dysfunctions that wreck matrimony

June 9, 2018
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Following the publication of Saturday Vanguard’s cover story of 2nd June 2018 entitled: “Genital test before marriage: Knocks, kudos to Redeem Church,” Health Rendezvous received numerous responses from readers, some seeking information about common sexual conditions that afflict men and women alike.

A female reader narrated her experience with Vaginismus—a dreadful condition that makes sexual intercourse excruciatingly painful or impossible for a woman. The married lady, who pleaded anonymity, cannot have sex normally.


Any attempt by her to engage in penetrative sex, even the mere thought of sexual intercourse, triggers an involuntary contraction of the muscles surrounding the entrance to the vagina which clamps shut. Today’s focus is on those common and uncommon sexual conditions and dysfunctions that wreak havoc in matrimony. Enjoy it.

Vaginismus – Sex is always painful

Vaginismus occurs as an involuntary (conditioned) muscle reflex in the lower pelvic muscle called the pubococcygeus muscle, which contracts and clamps shut, making penetration into the vagina either extremely painful or in many cases, virtually impossible.

Some women have vaginal muscles that tighten spontaneously, usually right before penetration or during penetration. These muscles are incredibly strong, once they lock up, nothing can penetrate. It is a psychological problem that it’s about 1 in 5 women and manifests physically quite commonly among women in the late teens to late 30s. Medically known as Genito Pelvic Pain Penetration Disorder (GPPPD), vaginismus is a sexual disorder nobody wants to talk about yet it is the primary female cause of sexless marriages. Not only is the disorder rarely discussed among sufferers, it is largely neglected. Vaginismus can result from emotional factors, medical factors, or both. Treatment, involves physical and emotional exercises.

Priapism-Erection that won’t quit

Priapism is a prolonged erection of the penis. The persistent erection continues hours beyond or isn’t caused by sexual stimulation.Priapism is usually painful. Priapism is a painful penile affliction that involves a prolonged erection. It has little to do with being turned on-rather it develops when blood in the penis becomes trapped and unable to drain. If it’s not treated immediately, permanent damage can result. People living with sickle cell anemia commonly develop priapism. The condition is also a side effect of different prescription medications, direct trauma to the penis, pelvis, or perineum or spinal cord injuries. Illicit drug use has also been tied to this disorder.

Sexsomnia – Sex in your sleep

Can you have sex while you’re sleeping? Some men and women do. Sexsomnia is a type of “parasomnia,” that is, an episode that involves undesirable behaviour. Sexsomnia may be more common than previously thought, because patients rarely mention it to their doctors. For the sufferer, it usually involves an interruption of Rapid Eye movement (REM) sleep, so people who have this problem may not only annoy their partners, but they often experience chronic insomnia.

Genital Retraction Syndrome

Genital Retraction Syndrome, GRS, is the profound belief that one’s genitals are shrinking and are in danger of disappearing. It’s more common in men, unsurprisingly. Some sufferers have a serious mental disorder, says author and psychologist Dr. Joy Browne, in these cases, what they are experiencing is not a disorder, but an internal belief based on an alternate reality. But sometimes the penis does retract into the pelvis a bit. If a man gains a lot of weight, or, if a man experiences a lot of stress and tension, the pelvic floor muscles can be affected in such a way that the penis does sort of shrink up. One remedy is massage and dance therapy.

Orgasm migraines

A headache is often a good excuse to avoid sex, but those suffering from Orgasm migranes also called coital cephalgia can have explosive migraines before, during, or just after orgasm. The problem occurs in men more often, because during arousal, changes in blood flow occur more rapidly in men than in women.

Sexual Aversion Disorder (SAD)

Imagine loving your partner with all your heart, but couldn’t stand to be touched by him or her? People with Sexual Aversion Disorder, SAD, experience revulsion at the thought of sex, and that’s quite sad, literarily. In extreme cases, just the sight or smell of their partner’s genitals can be a big turn off. They can even experience physical symptoms like dizziness and rapid heartbeat. Depending on its root cause, SAD can be effectively treated on its own or as part of an anxiety disorder therapy.

Orgasm sneezing

What if you were getting really intimate with someone, you thought you were turning him on, and then he started sneezing uncontrollably? Some people have fits of sneezing right after orgasm, and still others sneeze just by thinking about sex. Quite a high number of people have this rather unsexy problem. Experts say it could be due to the fact that the inside of the nose has erectile tissue in it, which can swell, in some people, at inopportune times. It’s not a disorder, just a condition.

Restless Genital Syndrome

Also called Persistent Arousal Syndrome, Restless Genital Syndrome causes some women to suffer from bizarre and unrelenting sensations in the genital area that feel a bit like arousal, but sex and/or masturbation do nothing to relieve the feeling. There is no clear agreement as to the cause.

Orgasmic disorder

People who have this problem may get turned on sexually just fine, and may satisfy their partner sexually, the problem is that they just can’t have an orgasm. It can happen to either sex. The reasons can be psychological. Stress and performance anxiety also contribute. Side effects from certain medications can also be responsible. Education, adjusting medication, and counselling do help most patients.

Dyspareunia – Sex pain

Dyspareunia refers to pain that can occur before, during, and after sexual interactions. It mostly affects women. Pain can range from moderate to severe and reasons can be physical or psychological. It is more common in women than men, and can be due to vaginal dryness or a penis that is uncomfortably large. Painful sex is quite common in general. Treatment normally focuses on the underlying cause.

Retrograde ejaculation

Retrograde ejaculation occurs when semen enters the bladder instead of emerging through the penis during orgasm. Although sexual climax is still attained, there might be little or no ejaculation and very little or no semen. This is sometimes called a dry orgasm. The semen sucks back in to the urethra and ultimately into the bladder. Though uncommon, it can be caused by prostrate surgery, urethral surgery, diabetes and certain medications. Retrograde ejaculation isn’t harmful, but it can cause male infertility. It typically doesn’t require treatment unless it interferes with fertility. In such cases, treatment depends on the underlying cause.

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