Sexual dysfunction is an issue dealing with sexual response and disease that encompasses a broad range of problems. In women, sexual dysfunction may be about pain during sexual intercourse, and spasms of the vagina. In men, it may refer to delayed or premature sexual dysfunction or erectile dysfunction (ED). It may also involve sexual response and desire (libido) for both sexes.
ED typically often affects men 65 years old and over although, strictly speaking, aging is not a natural cause for it. The number one complaint of about 43% of women in the United States suffering from sexual dysfunction is lowered sexual desire. This problem can be physical, psychological or a mixture of both.
Signs and Symptoms of Sexual Dysfunction
-Difficulty having an orgasm
-Lower urinary tract symptoms
-Loss or lack of sexual desire
-Pain during sex
-Inability to attain or maintain an erection
-Delayed or premature ejaculation
What Causes Sexual Dysfunction?
Sexual dysfunction can be a short-lived or long lasting condition. Its reasons differ and may involve:
-Pelvic fracture or certain types of injury
-Sleep apnea, arthritis, high blood pressure, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, diabetes and certain other medical conditions
-Stressful life experiences
-Psychological issues such as anxiety and depression among others
-Use of antidepressants and certain other prescription drugs
-Childhood sexual abuse
-In men, being 65 years of age and over
One of the best ways to tone and strengthen the body’s systems is with the use of herbs. As one ought to follow with any other type of treatment, you need to work with your doctor prior to starting treatment. Herbs can be used as tinctures (alcohol extracts), glycerites (glycerine extracts) or dried extracts (teas, powders, capsules). Unless otherwise indicated, prepare tea with a teaspoonful herb for one cup of hot water. Steep covered for around 7 to 10 minutes for flowers of leaf or flowers; and for roots, around 12 to 20 minutes. For each day, you may drink around to 2 to 4 cups. Tinctures can be used in combination or alone, as required.
The herb vitex agnuse castus or chaste tree can help boost production of hormones in your body, although it needs to be taken for a year to one and a half years for it to be effective.
Pausinystalia yohimbe or just yohimbe – this herb has a chemical known as yohimbine hydrochloride which is the main ingredient in a prescription medication used to treat ED. Yohimbe should not be taken without the supervision of your doctor since it may be dangerous when taken in high doses. This herb can interact with certain kinds of drugs and may be dangerous for individuals suffering from certain medical conditions. Yohimbe may interact with some types of antidepressant drugs.
Pygeum africanum and Serenoa repens (saw palmetto) – these herbs can help with prostate disease-related sexual problems. Hormonal drugs and blood thinners are some of the medications that may interact with saw palmetto. So this herb should only be taken under your doctor’s supervision.
Lepidium meyenii (Maca) – Based on several studies, Maca can significantly increase a man’s sexual desire. This herb is found in Peru. Maca needs to be studied more to see if it is safe and if it can treat low libido.
Panax ginseng (Korean red ginseng) – this herb is useful in treating ED based on a double-blind study. Subjects who participated in the study took 2 weeks off after 2 months of treatment. This herb is a stimulant and so people with bleeding disorders, heart disease, schizophrenia, autoimmune diseases, insomnia, and hormone-sensitive cancers such as prostate or breast cancer should not take it. Panax ginseng also interacts with insulin and blood thinners and other certain types of drugs. Consult your doctor first before taking it.
Ginkgo biloba – this herb can boost sexual function as well as blood flow. It helps enhance the effects of coagulants (blood-thinning medications). If you have a medical history of seizures, then you should not take this herb. Talk to your doctor first before taking ginkgo.
Arginine combined with yohimbe – this mixture can help improve arousal in women. Yohimbe should never be used without a doctor’s supervision. It interacts with a number of medications (especially antidepressant drugs) and may be dangerous when taken by people suffering from certain medical conditions.
Panax ginseng (Korean red ginseng) – based on one medical study, menopausal women may find this herb helpful in boosting sexual arousal. People with bleeding disorders, heart disease, schizophrenia, autoimmune diseases, insomnia, and hormone-sensitive cancers such as prostate or breast cancer should not take panax ginseng since it is considered a stimulant. This herb interacts with insulin and blood thinners and with other medications as well. Talk to your doctor before taking it.
A combination of vitamin, minerals, tumera diffusa (damaina), ginkgo, ginseng and arginine – when combined these herbs helped boost women’s sexual desire and arousal. Argnine should not be taken by people suffering from liver or kidney disease or high blood pressure. Ginkgo should not be taken by people who take diabetes drugs or blood thinners as well as people who have hormone-sensitive cancers such as prostate or breast cancer and those with bleeding disorders, heart disease, schizophrenia, autoimmune diseases and insomnia. Before taking arginine or ginseng talk to your doctor first.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Acupuncture
For millennia, TCM and acupuncture have been weapons used to fight sexual dysfunction. Researches indicate acupuncture to be helpful in reinforcing specific organs, and a lot of individuals do utilize TCM and acupuncture to resolve hormonal imbalances.
Christina Prieto is an Orlando acupuncturist, a certified Yoga instructor and the founder of Harmony Wellness center in central Florida.