Sexual dysfunction is defined as any difficulty, problem or issue that arises for an individual or a couple during any stage of intimacy. In reality, it is an overly stigmatized situation that is far more common than most couples realize. From desire disorders and arousal issues and dealing with painful intercourse, most people have dealt with at least one sexual dysfunction in their lifetime. Overcoming sexual dysfunction doesn’t have to be as daunting as it may feel. There are ways of handling the frustration without putting too much strain on your relationship. Intimacy is a very important element for helping couples bond. says Mares. Couples need to experience love and physical contact in order to feel calm and connected.

2. Remember you are not alone
Though it may seem isolating, sexual dysfunction in all its forms is something that plagues countless couples. The societal stigma surrounding sexual dysfunction, as well as a lack of communication skills and education, can form the basis for why these issues can be so isolating for a couple.

3. Get educated
It is certainly important for couples to not have unrealistic expectations about intimacy. Reading about sexuality, sexual intercourse, and sexual dysfunction is one way to ensure that both you and your partner are aware of the challenges you may be currently facing as well as the challenges that may lie ahead.

4. Don’t play the blame game
If the challenges being faced affect one partner in particular (as with erectile dysfunction), it is still important to face the issues as a team and deal with them together. It is important to look at sexual dysfunction as a couple experiencing a problem, not just as one partner with an issue. There is nothing worse than isolating the partner who is experiencing the problem. Without support and communication, there is little hope for correcting the situation or moving on from it.

5. Communicate with care
Timing is everything when it comes to talking about sexual dysfunction. Don’t attempt to discuss any problems with your partner after a long, stressful day at the office, or while one of you is trying to unwind in front of the television. Before engaging in a discussion, ensure that both of you are calm, well-rested and prepared to have a conversation that could get quite emotional, she says. If you find you are unable to make any headway, consider seeking professional help from a sex therapist in general.

Sexual dysfunction is one of the hardest things to overcome in a relationship and is undoubtedly one of the most difficult issues to communicate about. However, with a little work and a lot of support and love, there is always hope that you and your partner will come to a solution that will bring intimacy back into your life.