Updated: Jan 12
In this Article:
What is Sexual Dysfunction?
Sexual dysfunction is a problem that can occur to both males and females anytime during the sexual response cycle (excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution). It results in a decrease in sexual satisfaction.  Sexual dysfunction can affect one’s self-confidence as well as contribute to relationship issues. Sometimes, it may also indicate an underlying health condition.
Read more to find out how sexual dysfunction can be treated and its costs.
How is sexual dysfunction treated in males?
Male sexual dysfunction, also known as erectile dysfunction, can be treated with medications, therapy as well as mechanical devices. Non-pharmacological methods include therapy.
There are some medications available to increase sexual libido or help the user become aroused or reach orgasm.
Such medications include: 
Phosphodiesterase Type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors e.g. Sildenafil (Viagra), Vardenafil (Levitra) and Tadalafil (Cialis) help to relax the blood vessels and increase blood flow to the penis, improving erectile function. 
Centrally Acting Drugs target the central nervous system to help increase signals and communication between nerves and induce erection. Commonly used Centrally Acting Drugs include serotonin, nitric oxide, gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) and N-methyl-D-aspartate, L-aspartate (NDMA). 
Hormones such as testosterone may be given to men whose hormone levels are low.
Apart from oral medications, patients can choose to go for intracavernous medications or injectables.
Three injectable drugs used for erectile dysfunction are Papaverine, Phentolamine, and Alprostadil (prostaglandin E1),  meant to be injected into the penis. These drugs work by relaxing the blood vessels, causing them to dilate and increase blood flow to the penis, resulting in an erection. However, they should not be taken together with oral medications.
An alternative way to deliver alprostadil is through a urethral suppository delivered through the penis. 
Apart from drugs, men can turn to mechanical devices which can help improve erectile function and induce erection.
Vacuum Constriction Devices (VCDs) are one of the most common methods used to treat erectile dysfunction. A VCD is an external pump with a band attached to it which can help a man with erectile dysfunction achieve and maintain an erection. 
Surgery may also be done to improve erectile function.
Penile prostheses are implants that are surgically placed into the penis and scrotum which helps the man regain erectile function and maintain an erection.  Implants used can be a three-piece inflatable pump, two-piece inflatable pump, or semi-rigid rods. These depend on a number of factors such as your body size and type, your age as well as the size of your penis and kidneys.
Vascular surgery can be done to repair blocked arteries due to groin injury or a pelvic injury. This can reduce leakage of blood and helps improve the rigidity of the penis during an erection. 
Shockwave therapy is the newest form of erectile dysfunction treatment available in the market. Shockwave therapy sends shockwaves to the penile shaft and helps to stimulate the formation of new blood vessels (neovascularization) in the penis. This improves blood flow, resulting in improved erectile function.  Shockwave therapy is usually used when erectile dysfunction is caused by inflammation of blood vessels or damaged tissue. 
If your erectile dysfunction is caused by emotional problems such as stress, depression, anxiety, or relationship issues, your doctor will advise you to undergo therapy sessions to help treat your erectile dysfunction. The most common form of therapy would be cognitive-behavior therapy.
Apart from medications and therapy, your doctor may also advise you to make some tweaks to your lifestyle, such as eating healthier, losing weight, and quitting smoking. This is because studies have found that obesity and smoking have a direct relationship with erectile dysfunction. 
How is sexual dysfunction treated in females?
Sexual dysfunction in females can be treated with medication as well as other non-pharmacological methods such as therapy.
Medications are effective in combating issues such as decreased sexual interest or arousal as well as pain during sexual intercourse.
Hormonal therapy such as estrogen (e.g. Vagifem and Premarin) can be given to women to improve vaginal tone and elasticity, improving vaginal blood flow and lubrication. This helps to reduce pain and improve sensation during sexual intercourse. Estrogen can be given in the form of a vaginal ring, cream, or tablet.  Testosterone (e.g. Intrensa, Tostrelle, and Androsorb) can also be given to help increase sexual libido and pleasure.
Phosphodiesterase Type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors e.g. Sildenafil (Viagra), Vardenafil (Levitra), and Tadalafil (Cialis) can mediate smooth muscle relaxation of the vagina, helping the lady achieve arousal and orgasm .
Centrally Acting Drugs (e.g. Apomorphine and Bupropion) can help increase sexual responsiveness in ladies.
Flibanserin (Addyi) can be given to women to help improve sexual desire and arousal. 
If the cause of the sexual dysfunction is due to emotional reasons such as stress or relationship issues, your doctor may recommend undergoing therapy sessions to treat the sexual dysfunction. The most common form of therapy is cognitive-behavior therapy.
Laser therapy is effective in improving sexual functionality for ladies who experience pain or decreased pleasure during sexual intercourse due to vaginal loosening or vaginal dryness.  Laser therapy emits laser energy that penetrates the vaginal walls, remodeling tissues and stimulating the growth of collagen and elastin. This helps to rejuvenate the vaginal walls and improve blood flow, resulting in increased lubrication and vaginal tightening. 
Who is suitable for sexual dysfunction treatment?
In men, symptoms of sexual dysfunction can be: 
the inability to maintain an erection suitable for intercourse
absent or delayed ejaculation despite sufficient sexual stimulation
inability to control the timing of ejaculation
In women, symptoms of sexual dysfunction can be: 
inability to achieve orgasm
inadequate vaginal lubrication before and during intercourse
inability to relax the vaginal muscles enough to allow intercourse
Men and women who experience sexual dysfunction also tend to have a lack of interest or desire to have sex or experience pain during intercourse. These people are suitable to seek sexual dysfunction treatment.
On the other hand, people who suffer (what) should If you experience such symptoms, you may visit a doctor to get a diagnosis and receive treatment.
What is the breakdown of the costs of sexual dysfunction treatment?
The average costs of sexual dysfunction treatment for males range from $540 to more than $6000 while the average costs of sexual dysfunction treatment for females range from $200 to more than $3000.
The costs of sexual dysfunction treatment depend on a number of factors such as:
What is the difference in the costs between public and private institutions?
$38 - $59
$100 - $161
$88 - $260
$180 - $468
$80 - $100 (4 tablets)
$80 - $100 (4 tablets)
Free - $182 per session
$180 - $200 per session
Mechanical devices (for males only)
$300 - $500
Surgery (for males only)
Shockwave therapy (for males only)
$2,000 - $5,000
Laser therapy (for females only)
$1,000 - $1,500 per session
$35 - $655 per day
$255 - $738 per day
Are there any subsidies for sexual dysfunction treatment?
Unfortunately, there are no subsidies for sexual dysfunction treatment in Singapore.
Is sexual dysfunction treatment Medisave claimable?
You may claim up to $300 per year for your outpatient scans for diagnosis or treatment of your sexual dysfunction.
Depending on your inpatient treatment for sexual dysfunction treatment, the amount that is Medisave claimable varies. 
Penis, various lesions, insertion of penile implant
Penis, trauma, repair of laceration/fracture involving cavernous tissue
For hospitalization, you may claim up to $550 for the first two days of admission and up to $400 from the third day onwards in addition to your surgical claims.
Unfortunately for ladies, laser therapy is not considered a medical procedure and is not claimable by Medisave.
Is there insurance coverage for sexual dysfunction treatment?
There are currently no insurance plans that offer coverage for sexual dysfunction treatments.
What other factors to consider besides costs?
Apart from costs, there are a few factors that you need to consider while choosing the kind of treatment for your sexual dysfunction, such as:
Age: If you are of a higher age group, you might not be suitable for surgery. As such, your doctors will recommend oral medications instead.
Any other medical conditions: If you have any underlying heart conditions or are taking medications (e.g. blood thinner), you may not be suitable for certain oral medications. For example, those who are taking nitrates for a heart condition will not be suitable for PDE5 inhibitors.
For therapy, there are a few factors that you should consider as well, such as:
Location of the clinic: As therapy usually takes months or even years, it can be time-consuming and inconvenient to travel to clinics or therapists that are far from your house.
Experience of therapist: Therapists who have more experience in treating patients with the same condition as you can provide some reassurance that he or she can help you get better.
Credentials of therapist: Ensure your therapist has relevant certifications and licenses to offer therapy services.
Comfort with therapist: As you will need to open up about certain topics, it is important to be comfortable with your therapist and trust that your therapy sessions will be a safe space. Some factors that you can consider include your therapist’s gender, age, and religion.
Where can I seek help for Sexual Dysfunction?
Address & Contact No.
Daily Ward Price
National University Hospital
5 Lower Kent Ridge Road, Singapore 199074 6779 5555
$41 - $535
Singapore General Hospital
Outram Road, Singapore 169608
$35 - $466.52
Sengkang General Hospital
110 Sengkang East Way, Singapore 544886 6930 5000
$41 - $467
Changi General Hospital
2 Simei Street 3, Singapore 529889 6788 8833
$43 - $480
Tan Tock Seng Hospital
11 Jalan Tan Tock Seng, Singapore 308433
$43 - $655
Khoo Teck Puat Hospital
90 Yishun Central, Singapore 768828
$37 - $480
Address & Contact No.
Mount Elizabeth Hospital
3 Mount Elizabeth, Singapore 228510
6A Napier Road, Singapore 258500
$274 - $722
Parkway East Hospital
321 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 427900
$255 - $738
585 North Bridge Road, Singapore 188770
$368 - $708
You may also visit a general practitioner or any polyclinics to get a referral to seek treatment at a public hospital. General practitioners or doctors from polyclinics can also prescribe medications that can help with sexual dysfunction. 
There are 18 polyclinics located around Singapore:
Ang Mo Kio Polyclinic
Bukit Batok Polyclinic
Bukit Merah Polyclinic
Choa Chu Kang Polyclinic
Marine Parade Polyclinic
Pasir Ris Polyclinic
Toa Payoh Polyclinic
Sexual dysfunction can result in many issues such as decreased sexual pleasure and even cause a strain in your relationship. Sexual dysfunction is actually much more common than we think and people who suspect they may be suffering from sexual dysfunction should not feel ashamed to seek help. Early diagnosis means early treatment, which can help you improve your sexual function to a larger extent.
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This editorial section solely expresses the opinion of frankie and is not endorsed nor commissioned by any external party. The list is non-exhaustive. At frankie, we believe that your best provider of medical advice is your doctor. Please consult a doctor before undergoing any treatment or procedure.
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