Addressing patients’ sexual problems

Experts agree that some sexual function disorders are under-recognised and under-treated, leading to serious problems in relationships. People don’t always like to talk about the less-common disorders, and often doctors don’t ask them. This means that many of the out-of-the-ordinary issues go untreated.

Here are just 3 of the more common unusual sexual disorders:

Post-orgasmic illness syndrome(POIS):
This disorder is an illness which causes a person to experience flu-like symptoms soon after orgasm. The symptoms include fatigue, weakness, fever, sore throat, and concentration problems. Symptoms can last between 3 and 7 days. Despite the research, the actual cause is unknown. Some studies suggest that it could be an allergic reaction to semen or a chemical imbalance in the brain. The disorder mostly affects men, but women are also known to experience POIS. This is very distressing for both partners, and treatments include meds like antihistamines, anti-allergies, and anti-depressants. None of these treatments work very well. The only other solution is abstinence, which is drastic or scheduling sex for when you have time to recover from the symptoms.

Retrograde ejaculation:
When a man climaxes, a ring-shaped muscle closes off the path to the bladder. This allows semen to move safely out of the body through the urethra. Dysfunction of this muscle leaves the path to the bladder open. During ejaculation, the semen goes into the bladder. Causes of this muscle disorder include complications from prostate surgery, side effects from meds used to treat an enlarged prostate, and nerve damage caused by an illness such as uncontrolled diabetes. For most men, the symptoms of retrograde ejaculation are not life-threatening. There are treatments available. Studies have shown that there are certain meds that have had success in improving muscle tone at the entrance of the bladder.

Sexual problems that are psychologically linked:
These problems are called psychosexual disorders. These problems normally have nothing to do with anything physical. They can be caused by emotional and psychological issues or social and cultural factors. It's noted that the symptoms of these disorders may vary greatly between individuals. Symptoms also differ with different genders.

The majority of patients believe that sexual disorders such as erectile dysfunction (ED) and low sex drive, are due to something being wrong in the sexual organs. Regrettably, they are reluctant to go to a sex clinic or visit a psychologist for help. In the belief that there is a problem with their actual sexual organs, they prefer to visit specialists like gynaecologists, and urologists for help. These specialists may refer them back to a sex clinic, or a psychologist for treatment.

Dermatologists report being approached by folks who want the skin areas of the genitals examined to make sure there are no rashes, or other skin issues present, causing a problem. Research suggests that medical practitioners familiarise themselves with the symptoms of out-of-the-ordinary sexual problems. This will allow them to better assist their patients, who come to them with these issues.

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