Sexual Dysfunction

Sexual dysfunction is very common in both men and women. For instance, one in five men will experience premature ejaculation at some point. Ejaculatory dysfunction and erection problems are also very common in the aging man. It is estimated that 40 percent of women will experience sexual dysfunction.

Common Types of Dysfunction

Male  Female  
Erectile dysfunction (impotence) Decreased sexual desire
Low sex drive or libido Difficulty becoming or staying aroused
Peyronie's disease (penile curvature) Inability to have an orgasm
Premature ejaculation and other ejaculatory problems Painful intercourse

Often, the symptoms of sexual dysfunction can be the result of one or more underlying conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, insomnia, or hormone imbalance. Many prescription and nonprescription drugs can also cause sexual side effects.

In women, painful intercourse can be caused by a variety of factors, from vaginal infections to life-threatening conditions such as ectopic pregnancy. If a woman has sudden, severe pelvic pain, she should see a doctor right away.


Since the symptoms of sexual dysfunction can be the result of one or more underlying conditions, it is important to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis. Another good reason to see a doctor is that many sexual problems can be treated successfully.

The specialists at UT Southwestern Medical Center carefully evaluate your medical history and current condition to offer the most appropriate and effective therapies available.

Factors our specialists take into account when designing a treatment plan:

  • Conditions affecting the lungs, liver, kidneys, nerves, arteries, or veins
  • Conflicts or lack of communication between partners
  • Endocrine disorders
  • Excessive tobacco use (especially in men)
  • Health problems that can inhibit sex, such as Parkinson's disease, stroke, and spinal cord injury
  • Hormone deficiencies
  • Insomnia or lack of sleep
  • Medications such as antihistamines, blood-pressure medicines, antidepressants, and others
  • Previous sexual trauma
  • Psychological factors such as stress, anxiety, guilt, and depression
  • Surgery that has affected the pelvic organs, genitals, or hormones


UT Southwestern offers a variety of therapies to help men and women overcome sexual dysfunction, including education and counseling, genital reconstructive techniques, medication, penile prostheses, penile vascular procedures, and treatment of existing medical conditions. 

Our team of specialists is dedicated to conducting advanced research into the causes and cures for sexual dysfunction in both men and women. This research, combined with our extensive clinical experience, enables UT Southwestern to provide you with the best possible medical care.