Is sex addiction an illness or an excuse for immoral behavior? There is often no clear answer to this question when people start discussing the problem. However, there are people that need professional assistance because they are not able to cope with their sexual urges themselves.
Sex addiction: what is it?
It is usually described and abnormal sexual behavior that is revealed through obsession with sex. Patients who suffer from the condition fantasize, masturbate and have multiple sexual partners. They resort to pornography, prostitution and other activities with bigger risk of STDs and unplanned pregnancies.
Thoughts about sex do not let them live normally and are in the way of the usual routine. They have problems with partners because of it. As a rule, they are ashamed of what they do and want to have better control over the situation.
How to treat sex addiction
Sex addiction that is also named hypersexuality can be treated with psychotherapy, family counseling, educational special programs. In the most severe cases the medicines are prescribed.
The doctor should study the case thoroughly first. Sex addiction can be accompanied with other conditions such as anxiety, depression, drug abuse and etc. The sex addiction can also be a symptom of some psychic disease such as bipolar disorder and dementia.
Individual approach is necessary to solve the problems of this kind. There can be some underlying problems that alter the behavior of the person. Traumas of the past can tell upon the person. Such patients may be the victims of abuse in childhood. Such problems as identity matter, low self esteem can be in a way of strong relationship in the family. Complex approach to treatment will be the best solution to get rid of the problem.
Treatment in groups
People discuss the problem of sex addition together. It can be easier to cope with condition when you know about the difficulties other people with similar problems face. They learn to control their actions in groups.
Work with couples
Sex addition can be the cause of breakup in a couple. Lack of trust and betrayal are involved here. The task of the specialist is to organize work with couples and help them to deal with a situation.
How to avoid relapse
The end of treatment does not automatically means end of the problem. Sex addiction can bother you even after the treatment is over. Your task is to prevent relapses. You will probably need to change the lifestyle. Put away all porn and think about non-sexual things at such moments.
Method of 12 steps
Alcoholics Anonymous devised the program of 12 steps for people who suffer from alcohol addiction. Many other programs adapted this method later. It includes 12 steps that bring patients to complete recovery.
Sex addiction can be treated medically. It is worth saying that this treatment was not approved officially. Drug manufacturers have not tested these drugs for sex addiction in particular. They can't affirm the efficacy of medications for treatment of this condition. But studies took place and physicians do not have doubts concerning the appointment of medical therapy for patients with this problem.
Sex addiction treatment: how it happens
The programs for sex addicted patients are conducted in different places. It can be a treatment center where the person stays for several weeks (the program can last from 1 to 6 weeks). During the program the sexual activity is forbidden as a rule. Therapy can be conducted in a group or individually. Treatment includes lectures for education of patients, art therapy and other exercises that help to cope with condition. Sex addicted persons can be treated together with alcohol addicted and share the same facility.
Outpatient treatment has its specifics and different therapy is employed there. Patients do not have to stay at the facility.
There are local support groups and programs with 12-step method for people with sex addiction. People gather in the churches, community centers. There the patients discuss all problems that they face on the way to recovery. They share ways to cope with challenges. The programs are generally free and are supported by donations.
Those who suffer from this problem often feel ashamed to apply to specialist. Consult a doctor first who can recommend the proper facility or a program for you.
Surgery as erectile dysfunction treatment
Surgery is a method of ED treatment that is usually chosen when other methods do not work. All other ways of treatment brought to disappointment and frustration. Arteries and penis require repair when surgery is applied. They can be replaced also. In some cases penile implants are necessary. Penile implants regulate the erection process.
Erection starts when blood flows to penis. Sexual stimulation brings to expansion of the arteries and blood enters the corpora cavernosa with sponge tissue. Penis is erected thanks to blood inflow. The compression of veins during the erection lets penis remain erected for some time. Then they relax and blood leaves penis.
If the person has ED problem, it means that there can be problems with blood circulation. Poor blood circulation makes the erection weak therefore pleasurable sex is impossible.
Patients can repair or replace damaged blood vessels. Specialists differentiate 2 kinds of vascular surgery:
Artery bypass surgery or penile revascularization. This solution is good for patients with penile artery blockage. It is in the way of blood flow therefore artery bypass surgery is performed. Healthy artery is taken from the other place to replace the damaged artery. As soon as the way for blood is clear the problem is solved.
The surgery is performed with general anesthesia. The procedure takes up to 6 hours. The surgeon makes two incisions: at the place where the donor is taken (abdomen) and the scrotum or penis. The patients do not stay long in the hospital – just one night. Then he needs to stay in for about a week. The doctor forbids physical activity to prevent possible complications. Sex is also not allowed for several weeks after surgery.
Vein Ligation Surgery. This method is chosen when the blood does not stay in the penis to keep the erection and make the penis firm for some time to provide sexual intercourse.
The problem usually appear because of some problems in erectile tissue while the veins are not damaged. This surgery is rather complicated and performed seldom. Actually just several medical US centers make the surgery of this type.
Advantages and disadvantages of vascular surgery
Successful surgery restores the ability to have natural erection. Nothing points to the fact that the man underwent surgery. But the man should take into consideration that the success rate of such treatment is not high – only 50%. Penile revascularization helps only in half of all cases. In accordance with statistics, many men can encounter the same diagnosis in a couple of years. But the risk will be higher then. The procedure is painful, and scar can form. Bigger danger of infection appears. The cost of such surgery is, consequently, higher.
Penile prosthesis that is also called implant is a solution that is chosen by some men. Surgeons put implants to penis to let the patient have erection at required time.
This surgery is performed with general anesthesia too. Surgeon makes the incisions in the abdomen and the penis. Person stays in the hospital for a day or leaves right after surgery. In the first month after surgery pain may appear. It is easily managed with medications. However, intimacy should be avoided for about 4 weeks.
There are 2 kinds of penile implants. They differ in length and diameter.
Semi-rigid malleable implant of non-hydraulic type
This implant is a flexible rod that is made generally of stainless steel, plastic. Surgeon places the implant surgically into the penis. The man puts penis into the correct position with manual adjustment. He just bends the organ for sexual communication and puts it back when he wants to urinate.
Inflatable implants of hydraulic type
There are two or three parts in the inflatable prosthesis. The surgeon places the cylinder into the penis. Pump is placed into the scrotum. The erection is achieved by means of pumping the fluid into the cylinders. As a rule, saline solution is used. When man wants to stop the erection he should drain the fluid again. Man needs to pump again for that.
The implants differ in style. Some of them have two parts. The fluid in this case is kept in rear part of the cylinder. There is a special reservoir for the fluid when implant consists of 3 parts.
Advantages and disadvantages of penile implants
The success rate of this treatment method is rather high – 80-90% are pleased with work of penile implants. Patients do not have difficulties with sensation and orgasm.
Nevertheless, risk always exists. Person can be easily infected. There can also be a mechanical failure. Patient will need to have the device replaced with another one. The liquid can also leak from the penile implant. Harm for health is excluded because this is just a saline solution. Still it can cause discomfort. Men also may feel embarrassed because of the noticeable penis. The fluid that is kept in the cylinders makes the device so noticeable for others..
One of the biggest disadvantages of this method is inability to have natural erection in many men after the implant was inserted.
What type of surgery should you choose?
You should discuss this problem with a surgeon and the doctor who treats ED. Every point should be carefully discussed to make the right solution.