Sexual problems

Sexual problems are common, regardless of gender or sexual identity.

These problems can include pain having sex (usually penetrative), difficulty getting aroused or having an orgasm, or concerns about sex drive, feeling its too low or too high.

Some people worry that they are addicted to sex or pornography, or that they engage in risky sexual behaviours.

Men can also experience difficulties getting or keeping an erection or have problems controlling when they come (ejaculate).

Some people find the idea of any sex act or relationship frightening or disgusting.

These problems can be due to lots of different things like past events or relationships.

They can be due to past or present illnesses both physical and mental health issues can affect our sex lives.

Sometimes the way we learn about sex eg. pornography, can be misleading and make you think you have a problem when you don’t!

What happens when you are referred?

You will receive a letter acknowledging your referral and checking how you like to be contacted. its good to let your referrer know that information before they do the referral. For instance if you would prefer not to receive mail to your home address.

You will be contacted with an appointment (sometimes a cancellation at short notice). This is usually by letter or phone call and you will receive a text reminder about your appointment a week before it is due.

You will see one of the three mixed gender team members and you can choose whether to be seen alone or with your partner if you are in a relationship. The doctor in the team (female) can examine you if that is helpful and may also prescribe appropriate medication.

The appointments are about 45 minutes long and the team members are very experienced at discussing all aspects of sex. They also understand that it might be difficult for you to talk or find the right words to start with.

Most people are seen for about six appointments but some need fewer and some need more.

We will write to your referrer (GP, nurse etc) when you are discharged or at other times if this is helpful, but only with your permission.

Further useful information can be found at:

our team can help


Referrers should address their referral to: The Sexual Problems service, Abacus Clinic, The Beat, 6 David Lewis Street, Liverpool, L1 4AP and professionals and patients can call Abacus telephone triage on: 0151 247 6555. 

Currently the service is operating at normal capacity but therapists are offering mainly telephone or video consultations with some face to face appointments being offered to those who really need them from Mid-September (lockdown permitting).