Sexual problems can be both the cause and the effect of infertility and infertility treatments themselves can often cause sexual dysfunction in normal couples, a study by the Indian Institute of Sexual Medicine of Aakash Institute of Fertility and Research, has shown.
Out of a total number of 5,728 infertility patients surveyed by the institute from 1996 to 2005, 20 to 25 per cent were found to have sexual problems. Among male patients, 89 per cent had erectile dysfunction, 20 per cent suffered from anejaculation, 32 per cent had extreme premature ejaculation, and three per cent reported lower libidos, K.S. Jeyarani Kamaraj, infertility specialist of the institute said while presenting the results of the study during the First International Conference on Sexology organised by the institute here on Sunday.
Among sexual problems causing infertility, erectile dysfunction was found to be the main factor. While factors such as poor sex education, lack of sexual knowledge and conservatism were found to be the cause of unconsummated marriages, urban-life related stress, long working hours/working in shifts and lack of privacy were found to be the cause of infrequent intercourse between couples, she added.
In an interactive session devoted to lots of plain-talking on the myths and realities surrounding sex, renowned sexologist Prakash Kothari said sexual disorders were amongst the most common human disorders.
Anxiety over sexual performance bred a cycle of conflict, hostility, fear, shame and guilt and several myths and misconceptions paralysed sexual response. Masturbation was often found to be a safe sexual outlet as it could avoid unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases and did not result, as was often believed, in impotency.
Conditions such as diabetes and alcoholism affected sexual performance as they resulted in lesser blood flow to the genital organs. Lack of semen did not affect sexual performance and it was a myth to state that celibacy led to increased physical strength.
Another misconception was that the hymen was a proof of a woman’s virginity or that the size of genital organs mattered in sexual performance. Homosexuality and lesbianism were not aberrant sexual behaviour.
Aphrodisiacs may provoke desire but if overdosed, they could also affect performance, he said.