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SHAG Week - Sexual Dysfunction

For SHAG Week your SU have written an article on Sexual Dysfunction, including information on where to find support.

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Sexual Dysfunction

Not always talked about, and sometimes embarrassing, sexual dysfunction can greatly impact your life and relationships. It can present itself as a loss of libido or sex drive, erectile dysfunction, inability to achieve orgasm and more. All genders and ages can experience sexual dysfunction, it is a relatively common problem with around 34% of people aged between 16-21 reporting some sort of issue.

We all have different bodies and different hormones. Experiences aren’t universal. For example, no one has the exact same sex drive, yours might be higher or lower than your partners or friends, and due to hormone fluctuations, it could differ day to day! If you think your sex drive is lower than average, this is not something to be embarrassed about and nothing that needs ‘fixing’. Remember that there is no ‘normal’. The same with arousal, you might have the desire but can’t maintain the physical aspects (erection/lubrication), this is again completely normal, it will happen to everyone over their lifetimes.

However, if you feel like something has changed considerably, and has stayed changed, this could be a symptom of underlying physical or mental health conditions, and it's never good to ignore warnings from your body! It can definitely be awkward discussing sexual issues, many people hesitate to see a doctor because of this, but it is important to reach out, not least because of the impact on your mental health and relationships, but also that there could be an underlying medical condition causing these problems.

The causes can be varied, from physical or physiological, to different medications. It can sometimes seem like these problems will be with you forever, but there is hope and help out there, you are not alone.

If you are experiencing any sexual dysfunction and need support or someone to talk to, the Essex Sexual Health service provide free, confidential, and non-judgemental service to people in Essex. You can contact them directly on 0300 003 1212.

If you have any questions or would like more information about any of the above, our amazing SU Advice team are always happy to help.  You can reach out to them at suadvice@essex.ac.uk.

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