Image for sexual supplements article There are many ways to treat sexual dysfunction, including counseling, treatment of other physical problems, mechanical devices, prescription and over-the-counter medications, and dietary supplements. Here is a quick overview of some of these different options.

Sexual Dysfunction

The cause of sexual dysfunction can be physical or psychological. Physical causes include diabetes, heart disease, brain disorders, surgery or injury, adverse effects of medications, kidney disease, liver failure, hormonal imbalances, alcohol, drug abuse, and smoking. Psychological causes include stress, anxiety, marital problems, depression, and previous traumatic sexual experiences.

Whether it affects arousal, performance, or climax, sexual dysfunction is a real problem for people who have it. Once the problem is identified, most cases of sexual dysfunction are treatable.

Sexual Enhancement Drugs

Sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), and vardenafil (Levitra) are all used to treat erectile dysfunction in men. However, those who take nitrate medication should be aware that taking both nitrates and these sexual enhancement drugs can cause a life-threatening drop in blood pressure.

Alternative Sexual Enhancement Therapies

There is some evidence that certain herbs and dietary supplements might be helpful. For men, these include Korean red ginseng, carnitine, DHEA, arginine, and OPCs.

NOTE: Since the United States Food and Drug Administration does not regulate these supplements, their purity and safety is often in question. You should only take them under your doctor’s supervision.

The following is a list of other sexual dysfunction therapies:

  • Sex therapy—Couples therapy sessions address emotional and/or relationship issues that may be causing sexual dysfunction.
  • Vacuum therapy—These are vacuum devices for men that increase blood flow to the genitals to help with arousal difficulties.
  • Hormone therapy—Hormone therapy may resolve hormonal insufficiencies that are involved in some cases of sexual dysfunction.

If you are concerned about sexual dysfunction, your doctor can identify the cause of the problem and begin treating it.