How hypnotherapy can help treat sexual problems
The causes of sexual difficulties can be physical, psychological, or both. Sexual difficulties for men or women can develop gradually over time or they may occur suddenly. They can develop after an individual has previously experienced enjoyable and satisfying sex or begin early in a person's life. The problem can be a total or partial inability to participate in one or more stages of the sexual act.
Emotional factors affecting sex include psychological problems within the individual (sexual fears or guilt, depression or past sexual trauma) and/or interpersonal problems (such as marital or relationship problems, or lack of trust and open communication between partners).
There are generally four categories of sexual difficulty: sexual desire disorders, sexual arousal disorders, orgasm disorders, and sexual pain disorders.
For both men and women, these conditions may appear as an aversion to, and avoidance of, sexual contact with a partner. In men, there may be partial or complete failure to attain or maintain an erection, or a lack of sexual excitement and pleasure in sexual activity, or premature ejaculation.
There may be medical causes for these disorders, such as decreased blood flow or lack of vaginal lubrication. A chronic disease may also contribute, as well as the nature of the relationship between partners.
Sexual pain disorders affect women almost exclusively and are known as dyspareunia (painful intercourse) and vaginismus (an involuntary spasm of the muscles of the vaginal wall that interferes with intercourse). Dyspareunia may be caused by insufficient lubrication (vaginal dryness) in women.
Poor lubrication may result from insufficient excitement and stimulation, or from hormonal changes caused by menopause, pregnancy, or breastfeeding. Irritation from contraceptive creams and foams may also cause dryness, as can fear and/or anxiety about sex.
It is unclear exactly what causes vaginismus, but it is thought that past sexual trauma or negative sexual associations can play a role, however, this is not exclusive.
Symptoms experienced by men and women
- lack of interest or desire in sex (loss of libido)
- pain with intercourse (much less common in men than women)
Symptoms experienced by men
- inability to attain an erection
- inability to maintain an erection adequately for intercourse
- delay or absence of ejaculation, despite adequate stimulation
- inability to control the timing of ejaculation
Symptoms experienced by women
- inability to relax vaginal muscles enough to allow intercourse Inadequate vaginal lubrication preceding and during intercourse
- inability to attain orgasm
Physical factors contributing to sexual problems
It is important that physical factors are ruled out before commencing treatment with hypnotherapy. This, in turn, can help enable open and honest communication, improve body image and relationship balance, and help move towards addressing any negative past experiences.
- hormonal deficiencies (low testosterone, estrogen, or androgens)
- some birth defects Endocrine disorders (thyroid, pituitary, or adrenal gland problems)
- injuries to the back
- problems with an enlarged prostate gland
- problems with blood supply
- nerve damage (as in spinal cord injuries)
- drugs (alcohol, nicotine, narcotics, stimulants, antihypertensives, antihistamines, and some psychotherapeutic drugs)
- failure of various organ systems (such as the heart and lungs)
Hypnosis can help with
- removal of negative emotions surrounding sex e.g guilt, fear, performance anxiety, pressure
- learn to recognise symptoms of stress and anxiety, and how they may be impacting your sex life
- improve relaxation
- shifting patterns of past behaviour
- teach self-hypnosis techniques
- improve self-belief, self-confidence and self-esteem
- naturally increase your libido without relying on medication