What's better? Private or NHS healthcare?
Sexual and relationship problems are surprisingly common and can cause huge distress. Research suggests that between a third and a half of adults report having sexual problems. At the heart of many relationship breakdowns and divorces are sexual problems. But people find it very difficult to talk about such personal issues and this may mean that problems go unresolved for years or even forever. It does not need to be like this. There are experienced therapists who specialise in psychosexual counselling & therapy, and can help.
Sexual problems are more common in the early adult years and again in older men and women where there they may be the result of other medical conditions or medical treatments. Sexual dysfunction is more common in people who abuse alcohol and drugs and medical conditions such as diabetes and degenerative neurological disorders. It is therefore important to have a proper clinical assessment to exclude medical reasons for the problem.
Sexual problems typically fall into four main areas:
- Desire (reduced or increased libido)
- Arousal (frigidity, impotence, erectile dysfunction)
- Orgasm (premature, delayed or absent)
- Pain (during intercourse or ejaculation)
Ongoing psychological problems, difficulty maintaining relationships or chronic disharmony with the current sexual partner can also interfere with normal sexual function and in these cases of psychosexual problems psychosexual counselling may be useful.
Where can I get help with sexual problems?
It sometimes helps to talk through a problem with a nurse or health professional that you already know or receive care from. She/he will be able to listen to how you feel, this can help in itself and it is often a good way of beginning to understand the nature of your concerns and the type of help or information you may need. It may be helpful to consider discussing the issue with your General Practitioner (GP) or Practice Nurse based in your surgery or Health Centre. Alternatively you may wish to have a private consultation with a trained Psychosexual Counselor. Why not arrange a private consultation at one of our clinics.
Telephone 0345 2303386 or use the Confidential Text Service 07786202070
Specialist organisations and clinics can also provide help such as:
Family Planning Clinics (Reproductive and Sexual Health Services). This site has a lot of useful information on various aspects of sexual health including contraception, pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. The site also suggests some further useful link sites.
NHS GUM clinics (Genito-Urinary Medicine) - Sexual health clinics are sometimes known as genito-urinary medicine (GUM) clinics. They are usually located at your local hospital, or as part of another health centre, in a separate building. You can find your nearest sexual health clinic by visiting the Family Planning Association website (see 'further information), or by calling NHS Direct on 0845 4647. Genito-urinary medicine deals with the male and female sexual organs and the urinary system (the system in the body that produces, stores and gets rid of urine). GUM clinics can usually give you tests for sexual and urinary health problems, such as:sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as syphilis, gonorrhoea, genital warts, and chlamydia,HIV or AIDs,cystitis (bladder infection), and other infections of the genitals, such as thrush. At most GUM clinics you can make an appointment for a general check up, which also include tests for a range of STIs. Before starting a new sexual relationship, it's a good idea for you and your partner to be tested for any sexually transmitted infections. You might also want to have a check-up before trying for a baby.
British Association of Sexual and Relationship Therapy (BASRT) can be contacted for a list of accredited therapists and clinics in your area. This site contains some useful information about psychosexual therapy and what it involves.
Relate. Relate is the largest relationship counselling organisation in the UK. It has over 2,500 counsellors working in nearly 100 centres in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. They offer advice, relationship counselling, sex therapy, workshops, mediation, consultations and support face-to-face, by phone and through their website.
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