More than one in 10 young people have recently suffered a distressing sexual problem
Editor : Niraj
 08 Sep 2016 |  147

More than 10 per cent of sexually active young people have recently experienced a “distressing problem” in the bedroom, according to a new study. Researchers analysed information from a survey of 2,392 people aged 16 to 21, of whom 517 were sexually inactive. They found that 44 per cent of sexually active young women and 34 per cent of sexually active young men had experienced one or more sexual problems lasting at least three months in the past year.
Nine per cent of men and 13 per cent of women said they had experienced a problem so bad that they had felt distressed as a result. The most common ‘distressing’ complaint among sexually active women was difficulty reaching orgasm (six per cent), while five per cent said their problem was a lack of interest in sex. Among young men, the most common problem was reaching a climax too quickly (five per cent) and difficulty getting and keeping an erection (three per cent).
Dr Kirstin Mitchell, who began the research at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and is now based at Glasgow University, said: “When it comes to young people’s sexuality, professional concern is usually focussed on preventing sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancy. “However, we should be considering sexual health much more broadly, as sexual difficulties can impact on young people’s sexual wellbeing in the longer term.
“Our findings show that distressing sexual problems are not only experienced by older people in Britain – they are in fact relatively common in early adulthood as well.” She said sex education and health service professionals should “provide reassurance and opportunities for young people to discuss and address these problems early on”.
“If we want to improve sexual wellbeing in the UK population, we need to reach people as they start their sex lives, otherwise a lack of knowledge, anxiety or shame might progress into lifelong sexual difficulties that can be damaging to sexual enjoyment and relationships,” Dr Mitchell said. About a third of young people with problems had sought help, but usually from family, friends, the media or self-help sites on the internet.
Four per cent of young men and eight per cent of young women with a problem had sought professional help from a sexual health professional or other expert. Ten per cent of those who had not had sex for a year said they had avoided it because of a previous problem they or their partner had experienced. Professor Kaye Wellings, of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, who took part in the research, said sex education in the UK was “often silent on issues of sexual satisfaction”.

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