Sexual dysfunction or sexual malfunction is difficulty experienced by an individual or a couple during any stage of a normal sexual activity, including physical pleasure , desire, preference , arousal or orgasm. According to DSM-5,(Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders),Sexual dysfunction requires a person to feel extreme distress and interpersonal strain for a minimum of 6 months(excluding substance or medication induced sexual dysfunction).
Sexual dysfunctions can have a profound impact on an individuals perceived quality of sexual life.
CATEGORIES- Sexual dysfunction disorders may be classified into 4 categories-
1. SEXUAL DESIRE DISORDERS
2. AROUSAL DISORDERS
3. ORGASM DISORDERS and
4. PAIN DISORDERS.
SEXUAL DESIRE DISORDERS- Sexual desire disorders or decreased libido are characterized by a lack or absence for some period of time of sexual desire or libido for sexual activity or of sexual fantasies. The condition ranges from a general lack of sexual desire for the current partner. The condition may have started after a period of normal sexual functioning or the person may always have had no/low sexual desire.
CAUSES- 1. Decrease in the production of normal oestrogen in women or testosterone in both men and women. 2. Ageing 3. Fatique 4. Pregnancy 5. Medications (such as SSRIs) 6. Psychiatric conditions(such as depression and anxiety).
SEXUAL AROUSAL DISORDERS- For both Men and women, these conditions can manifest themselves as an aversion to, and avoidance of, sexual contact with a partner. In man, there may be partial or complete failure to attain or maintain an erection, or a lack of sexual excitement and pleasure in sexual activity.
CAUSES- 1. Medical causes(such as decreased blood flow or lack of vaginal lubrication) 2. Chronic diseases 3. Nature of relationship between the partners.
ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION- Erectile dysfunction or impotence is a sexual dysfunction characterized by the inability to develop or maintain an erection of the penis. There are various underlying causes –
1. Damage to the nervi erigentes which prevents or delays erection. 2. Diabetes 3. cardiovascular diseases which simply decreases blood flow to the tissue in the penis(many of which are medically reversible) 4. Phychological or physical.
PREMATURE EJACULATION- Premature ejaculation is when ejaculation occurs before the partner acheives orgasm,or a mutually satisfactory length of time has passed during intercourse. There is no correct length of time for intercourse to last, but generally, premature ejaculation is thought to occur when ejaculation occurs in under 2 minutes from the time of insertion of the penis.
ORGASM DISORDERS- Orgasm disorders are persistent delays or absence of orgasm following a normal sexual excitement phase. CAUSES- 1. Physical 2. Psychological 3. Pharmacological(SSRI- as they can delay orgasm or eliminate it entirely)
SEXUAL PAIN DISORDERS- 1. Dyspareunia (painful intercourse) 2. Vaginismus (an involuntary spasm of the muscles of vaginal wall that interfereswith intercourse) 3. Vulvodynia or vulvar vastibulitis(in this condition women experience burning pain during sex which seems to be related to problems with the skin in the vulvar and vaginal areas. Cause is unknown).
CAUSES OF DYSPAREUNIA- 1. Insufficient lubrication(vaginal dryness) 2. Irritation from contraceptive creams and foams can also cause dryness 3. Fear and anxiety about sex Cause of Vaginismus is unclear but it is thought that past sexual trauma(such as rape or abuse) may play a role.
UNCOMMON SEXUAL DISORDERS IN MEN- PEYRONIE’S DISEASE Structural abnormalities of the penis like PEYRONIE’S disease can make sexual intercourse difficult. The disease is characterized by thick fibrous bands in the penis which leads to a deformed looking penis.
PRIAPISM- Priapism is a painful erection that occurs for several hours and occurs in the absence of sexual stimulation. This condition develops when blood gets trapped in the penis and is unable to drain out.
INFERTILITY- Infertility is the diminished ability or the inability to conceive and have offspring. Infertility is also defined in specific terms as the failure to conceive after a year of regular intercourse without contraception. Male infertility is commonly due to deficiencies in the semen. Male infertility can be caused by problems that affect sperm production or the sperm transport process.
In Ayurveda – Acharya Charak has described 8 types of sukra doshas as below – 1. Phenil 2. Tanu 3. Ruksha 4. Vivarna 5. Pooti 6. Picchil 7. Anyadhatusamsrista 8. Avsadi,
Also he has described 4 types of klaibya namely- 1. Bejopghat 2. Dhwajopghat 3. Vriddhavasthajanya 4. Sukra chayajanya
Acharya susruta has also described 5 types of napunsakta in sharir sthana:
1.Aashekya 2. Saugandhik 3. Kumbheek 4. Irshyak 5. Nar & Nari sandha Also described 6 types of Klaibya in S.Chi.26- 1. Mansik 2. Aharjanya 3. Sukra chayaj 4. Marmached janya 5. Sahaj 6. Brahamcharyaj.
Klaibya- The male sexual dysfuctions have been elaborately described as ‘’Klaibya’’ in ayurvedic classics. The disease ‘Klaibya’ is a multifactorial condition, mainly involving bahudosa avastha as a whole and sukrakshaya in specific, Manodosa and Sukravaha srotodusti.
Dhatupradoshaja vikara is a condition in which the dhatus are in vitiated state. In the description of dhatupradoshaja vikara, Rasapradoshaja vikara is first one. Almost all the diseases explained in ayurveda are due to agni vikriti. Agni of a person is responsible for his bala, varna, utsaha, upachaya etc. klaibya is one among the rasapradoshaja vikara. For rasa pradoshaja vikara langhana is said as the best treatment.
Basti is capable of performing all sorts of actions like shodhana, samana, bringhana etc. by virtue of the specific types and drugs utilised in it and effectively overcomes the aggrevated vata. It socially annihilates the bahudosa avastha due to its shodhana action.
Among the ten types of langhana pachana and basti will be very useful. For pachana purpose drugs like sunthi, ativisha and musta can be used. Pachana drugs help in the formation of sukradhatu. As basti is specifically indicated as a superior treatment in the conditions of kshinendriya i.e. atishina shukra, shukradosha and klaibya.
The treatment adopted in Ayurveda to increase libido, quality and quantity of semen, duration of erection and to treat infertility effectively is known as vajikarana. As this therapy increases the strength of a man to perform sexual act, like a horse, it is called vajikarana. They are said to increase libido, duration of hard erection, sperm count and sperm motility.
Facts regarding Vajikaran –Those materials when consumed suitably by the person makes him capable of satisfying women are k/a vajikaran. Different kinds of delicious foods and drinks, speech which is pleasing to the ears, touch comfortable to the skin, moon light nights, young women copulation, music captivating the mind & ear, beetle chewing, wine, garlands, pleasant smell & shapes(of things around), beautiful garden &happier state of mind. These make the man horse like.
VAJIKARANA CHIKITSA- Vajikarana chikitsa has been given depending upon the deformity of person. Vajikarana chikitsa is classified as follows- 1. Sukrajanan 2. Sukrapravartaka 3. Sukra Rechana 4. Sukra shodhana. 5. Sukra stambhaka
Sukrajanan- The dravyas which enhances the seminal secretion or production. It is also known as sukrala dravyas.
Eg. Ashwagandha,musli, Mudgaparni, masaparni, shatavari. These are even useful in spermatogenesis and oligospermia.
Sukra pravartaka- The dravyas which enhances the production of sukra as well as increases the seminal flow or ejaculation. Eg. Milk, masa, amalaki, bhallataka.
SUKRA RECHANA- The dravyas which helps proper ejaculation of semen is known as sukra rechaka dravyas. Eg. Brihatiphala, kantakari. It has good results in aspermia.
SUKRA SHODHAN- Purifier of semen is known as sukra shodhan. Eg. kustha. Katphala
SUKRA STAMBHAKA- The dravyas which promote the retention capacity of a male sperm during sexual intercourse. Eg. Jatiphala- it has superb results in premature ejaculation.
FOODS THAT SPECIFICALLY ENHANCE THE SUKRA DHATU- BROCCOLI (Phool gobhi) 2. MILK 3. ALMONDS 4. GHEE 5. ALOE VERA 6. RICE PUDDING 7. Sesame (Tila)
CHAWANPRASH PIPPALI RASAYAN AMALAKI RASAYAN LOHARASAYAN TRIPHALA RASAYAN BHALLATAKA RASAYAN SHILAJATU RASAYAN
Rasayan useful in sexual disorders-
As major sexual disorders are stress related that’s why achara rasayan is being taken as a main tool to propone onset of jara and its related psychological disorder.Achara rasayan is a mode of living behavior and conduct. Achara rasayan is the mental hygiene, envisages a code to lead stress free life which inturn fetches longevity.
FOODS FOR VITALITY AND SENSUALITY ACCORDOING TO AYUR VEDA-
1. Whole grains 2. Diary proteins including Milk, lassi and paneer 3. Mung dal 4. Almonds 5. Sweet, juicy fruits such as Mangoes, peaches, plums and pears 6. Dried fruits such as dates, figs and Raisins 7. A banana cooked in ghee, cinnamon and cardamom
Before Vajikarana herbs are administered , a persons body must be purified. First the diet is improved according to the persons dosha, then a more disciplined lifestyle is recommended- including the adoption of a calmer mind, positive outlook and spiritual consciousness. It should be noted that aphrodisiacs cannot be taken if the body is unhealthy or full of undigested food matter (i.e. toxins or aama). A person should be in good health to benefit from the use of these herbs.
Below are only a few of the many vajikarana herbs available- ASHWAGANDHA- In sanskrit ayurvedic herbs are named after their alleged properties, such as ashwagandha which is translated as “ strength of a horse”. Ashwagandha was historically used as an aphrodisiac. Ashwagandha is mentioned in the ancient kamasutra as an herb for heightening sexual experience, Ashwagandha has the ability to store sexual health and improve overall vitality while promoting a calm state of mind. Laboratory studies shows ashwagandha produces nitric oxide which is known to dilate blood vessels. Ashwagandha is categorized as a rasayan , which is used to promote physical and mental health, to provide defense against diseases and adverse environmental factors and to slow the ageing process.
Shatavari – It is member of the Asparagus family. Its name means one who posesses a hundred husbands in sanskrit. A special tonic for women shatavari nourishes shukra dhatu and increases fertility & the capacity for love making. It has rejuvination effects on the female reproductive system & possesses a sattvic quality as well as enhancing feelings of love & devotion. It also helps generate healthy reproductive fluids & blood & can help regulate womans menstural cycle. It can be used during any time from puberty untill menopause.
Kumari (Aloe vera)- Literally means like a young girl or virgin as it imparts the energy of youth to the reproductive system. Nowadays it is used to maintain beauty & counteract the symptoms of ageing.
Gokshura(Tribulus terristris)- it is another herb commonly used to enhance libido. It has long been used in traditional chinese & Indian medicine for various ailments & has been studied in animals with encouraging results. Researchers concluded that its extract appears to possess aphrodisiac activity probably due to the testosterone increasing property of tribulus terrestris.it is also known to decrease levels of prolactin in women. An increase in prolactin is associated with reduced libido.
Licorice root(Yasthimadhu)- it is famous for creating balance & energy in herbal formulas. It also acts on the glands especially the adrenals to optimize hormone levels. The adrenals produce sex hormones & are directly involved with a healthy sex drive. Lowered adrenal function can lead to loss of libido less energy & poorer sexual response.
Kaunch(Mucuna pruriens) – This herb is an excellent remedy for premature ejaculation. It improves the viscosity of semen so that the sperm continue to be alive in them for longer durations. This herb is ideal forthose who have thin ,watery semen or those who ejaculate prematuraly leaving their partners dissatisfied.
Talmakhana (Astercantha longifolia) – This is another herb used for the treatment of semen anomalies. It improves sperm quality , prevents early ejaculation & improves blood circulation to the genitalias.
IMPORTANCE OF VITAMINS AND MINERALS ON SEX LIFE-
VITAMIN A- Vitamin A is essential for normal reproduction. It is common for impotent men to have deficiency of vitamin A. it maintains the health of the epithelial tissues which lines all the external and internal surface of body. A lack of vitamin A can result in a decrease production of the sex hormones. Source of vitamin A are Tomatoes, mangoes, egg, spinach etc.
VITAMIN E- Vitamin E is powerful antioxidant that helps improve circulation. Circulation is the most important component of sexual function. Source of vitamin E are Almonds, Cereals etc.
VITAMIN C- it is important for the circulation of blood in arteries, and when working together with vitamin E. it accentuates the effect in aphrodisiac. Sources are- Amla, Lemon, Citrus fruits etc.
SELENIUM- selenium is a trace mineral that functions as an antioxidant. It is very important for male sexual health because without selenium healthy sperms cannot be produced. Source of selenium are- Garlic, brown rice etc.
ZINC- zinc is a trace mineral and is specially known for testosterone production. Source of zinc are- spinach, asparagus, soyabean etc.
PROTEIN- Protein plays an important role in the well being and sexual health. Dopamine is the feel good chemical boosted by protein which is converted into neurotransmitters in the brain which is vital for aphrodisiac. It is also essential for producing sperms in males. Foods high in protein include soyabean, fat less chicken, egg, milk etc.