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The Effects of Depression and Antidepressants on Sexual Health and the Sexual Response Cycle - Research Paper Example

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The Effects of Depression and Antidepressants on Sexual Health and the Sexual Response Cycle Name Institution The Effects of Depression and Antidepressants on Sexual Health and the Sexual Response Cycle The fact that adequate sexual expression is an important and integral part of human health and relationship cannot be overstated bearing an impact on the physical, social and psychological well-being of an individual…
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The Effects of Depression and Antidepressants on Sexual Health and the Sexual Response Cycle
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The Effects of Depression and Antidepressants on Sexual Health and the Sexual Response Cycle

Knowledge of the terminology commonly used in sexual and mental health studies is crucial for the study of the interrelationship between the two. The physiology of sexual functioning can be best described through the sexual response cycle which is divided into four phases i.e. desire, excitement, orgasm and resolution. The sexual response cycle is regulated by a multi-component system involving endocrine glands, autonomic nervous system, sex hormones and neurotransmitters which intimates the relationship between sexual health and mental health. Sexual dysfunction refers to problems experienced during any of the phases of the sexual response cycle hence preventing an individual from obtaining satisfaction from sexual activity. Statistics present on sexual dysfunction indicate that about 41% of women and 34% of men in the general population experienced various manifestations of sexual problems ranging from diminished libido, vaginal dryness, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and anorgasmia (Outhoff, 2009). Further breakdown of the epidemiology reveals that 35% of women and 16% of men experience inhibited sexual desire; 10-20% of men experience premature ejaculation while a further 35% experience erectile dysfunction. The prevalence of orgasm problems among women is 5-15% (Baldwin et al. 2003). Among the several causes of sexual disorders, discovery of a link with psychopathology stands out with sexual dysfunction being a common symptom among depressed individuals as indicated by the fact that sexual dysfunction occurs in only 26% of normal individuals while it stands at 45% of depression cases. Widespread use of antidepressant medications also led to the realization that such drugs had an adverse effect on sexual functioning with several experimental studies confirming this (Jespersen, 2006). The strong link between depression, antidepressants and sexual dysfunction alongside the grave statistics of sexual problems are the considerations that informed this study. Undertaking this study is important as more knowledge on the link between the two needs to be generated through experimental, meta-analytical and review approaches and the research findings communicated to medical practitioners especially with the growing importance of evidence-based practice. Such research findings have the potential of influencing the prescription and treatment decisions for depression. This study will undertake to review literature from experimental studies into the effects of depression and antidepressant medications on the sexual response cycle after which the implications of the study findings on sexual health intervention research and policy will be discussed. The approach of the literature review will be through analyzing information from experimental research into the issue with focus given to work from the turn of the millennium so as to get up-to-date findings on the subject. Each study will be analyzed in terms of research topic theory, the method undertaken for the research and finally the research findings and conclusions arrived at by the researchers. Review of Literature Peng et al. (2006) undertook a study to find out the relationship between physiological and psychological factors with sexual dysfu ... Read More
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