Sexual problems

Sometimes you can have problems that affect your sex life.

These might include:

  • loss of interest in sex
  • being unable to get or keep an erection
  • premature ejaculation (coming too soon)
  • pain during sex or difficulty with penetration
  • difficulty having an orgasm.

Sexual problems can have physical or psychological causes, sometimes both.

Physical reasons can include illness, infection or side effects from medication.

Psychological causes can be linked to relationship difficulties, uncertainties about your sexuality, and previous sexual experiences.

The good news is that many sexual problems are temporary.

The first step is to talk to someone about your problem. This could be at your general practice, contraception, GUM or sexual health clinic or a helpline.

Some contraception services and some GUM and sexual health clinics offer psychosexual counselling.

Your general practice might be able to refer you to a counsellor on the NHS, but there might be a waiting list.

The following organisations have useful information and can help you access relationship and psychosexual counselling. Some might charge a fee for their services.

Relate www.relate.org.uk.

College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists www.cosrt.org.uk.

Sexual Advice Association www.sda.uk.net.

Information last updated: September 2018
Next planned review by:

This website can only give you general information.