Newswise — Sexual dysfunction among couples is common, yet it often goes untreated, according to specialists at Loyola University Health System’s Sexual Wellness Clinic.

Loyola’s clinic, which opened last fall, has helped to break down the stigma associated with sexual dysfunction and the barriers that prevent couples from seeking help. The clinic will offer another six-week program this fall for couples who are experiencing sexual health problems. The program will combine the expertise of various specialists to address common emotional and physical challenges that couples face in their sexual relationships.

“We received a tremendous response from couples involved with our program over the past year,” said Mary Lynn, DO, co-director of the Loyola Sexual Wellness Clinic and assistant professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine (SSOM). “This program has helped couples communicate and resolve underlying physical and emotional issues to improve their sexual relationship."

The most common problems that affect sexual health include decreased libido, painful intercourse, inability to have an orgasm, erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.

This program will address these issues in six weekly visits led by a team of obstetricians and gynecologists, urologists, psychologists, nurses, social workers, dietitians and yoga instructors. Each week will include group educational sessions and private counseling for couples. A private physical examination also will be offered with an obstetrician/gynecologist and a urologist during the second session.

The group educational sessions will focus on envisioning greater intimacy, becoming open and vulnerable, finding life and relationship balance, exploring healthier possibilities, connecting mind and body and gaining and keeping momentum. Clinicians also will address nutrition and yoga for sexual wellness. These group sessions are informational only. Participants will not be asked to talk about their sexual relationship in a group setting.

The clinic will take place from 6:30 to 9 p.m. beginning Wednesday, Sept. 3, through Wednesday, Oct. 8. The program will be available again beginning in January and in the spring.

“Our sexual wellness specialists recognize that there are many factors that affect intimacy,” said Pat Mumby, PhD, co-director of the Loyola Sexual Wellness Clinic and professor, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neurosciences, SSOM. “Loyola’s program takes a holistic approach to help couples manage their sexual health and rediscover their relationship."

Loyola’s Sexual Wellness Clinic was initially established in 1972 as the first sex clinic in the Chicago area. The program was founded by Domeena Renshaw, MD, a pioneer in sex therapy. Dr. Renshaw previously worked in gynecology and urology and noted the overwhelming lack of sex education available at the time. As an accomplished author, lecturer and counselor, her work has since helped to legitimize the field of sex therapy. After nearly 40 years of counseling couples, Dr. Renshaw closed her clinic and retired in 2009. Loyola’s new clinic will build on Dr. Renshaw’s work when it reopens next month.

Couples interested in this program should call (708) 216-2364.