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Biopsychosexual is a descriptive term for a model of understanding or therapeutic treatment of sexual health problems which considers biological, psychological, and sexual factors. By considering these three kinds of factors in tandem, a psychologist or other healthcare professional can provide a more holistic course of treatment that heals the mind and body.
A biopsychosexual approach may be used to treat a range of sexual health problems including erectile dysfunction and a lack of libido.
A biological approach to treatment addresses a patient’s genetic makeup, diseases or physical health disorders, and lifestyle. It’s what we think of as a strictly medical approach. A psychological approach considers mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, stress, and self-identity. A sexual approach considers the patient’s sexual history, including attitudes to sex, messages received about sex from influential figures including parents, teachers, and peers, and past sexual experiences. A biopsychosexual approach considers all of these different factors that can contribute to sexual disorders.
A biopsychosexual approach is a relatively new way of treating sexual health conditions. Traditionally health practitioners examined their patients’ physical and mental health histories without considering their sexual history and how it may have contributed. However, it makes sense that any condition that concerns sex is likely to have a sexual component.
During biopsychosexual treatment, healthcare professionals investigate and diagnose any medical problems that may contribute to the condition. These professionals understand though that sexual health problems are rarely simply physical or simply psychological, and seek to help their patients understand this. While they may prescribe medications, they will also help patients deal with anxiety they feel surrounding sex and learn to enjoy and feel confident in their sexuality.
Treating a sexual disorder with drug therapy might improve the symptoms, but if underlying sexual and psychological causes aren’t dealt with the condition is likely to persist. Some conditions cannot be effectively dealt with in a strictly biological way. For example, there is often no obvious physical reason for dyspareunia. Treatment was often terminated, with no resolution for sufferers, if doctors could not find any physical cause. For many sexual conditions like this, patients will only feel they’re truly recovered once all contributing factors are addressed.