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The World Health Organization defines sexual health as a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. For sexual health to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all persons must be respected, protected and fulfilled. (WHO, 2006a)

I like that definition as it defines the full spectrum of sexual health. Often I see patients who initially present with an organic cause of their erectile disorder and after treating them with a multimodal approach which can include sonicwave therapy, pelvic floor exercises and testosterone treatment, they are still not up to the task (excuse the pun). Speaking with these men I realize that as a consequence of their organic cause many of them have developed a profound psychological component affecting not only their ability to achieve an erection but may also interfere with the man’s overall well being, self esteem and interpersonal relationships.

It is important to think about the psychological impact on both partners when dealing with sexual issues and offer one or both counselling with a therapist trained in sexual health.

Written by Dr. Ron Mayer, FullMast’s Chief Medical Officer