A SEX therapist believes many people are unaware of the help available for their bedroom problems.

In spite of the large number of services in East Lancashire for sex problems, people with difficulties between the sheets often don’t know where to find help or are too embarrassed to do so.

Carole Roberts works with individuals and couples on problems including loss of interest in sex, erectile difficulties, and problems with orgasm and ejaculation.

Now she wants to raise awareness of the service, which has a base at Acorn Primary Health Care Centre in Accrington, and encourage people to use it.

Ms Roberts, principal psychosexual therapist and service lead for the Sexual Help & Relationship Enhancement Psychosexual Service (SHARE), said: “The service is for individuals and couples who need advice and help with their sex lives.

“They have difficulties including with getting an erection, having an orgasm, ejaculating too quickly, having pain during sex, or any relationship issues.

“It can also be for advice on sexual orientation such as if you’re gay or bi or have gender identity issues.

“People could also have physical or psychological problems that are causing problems, as medication can affect ability to have an erection, for instance.”

Satellite psychosexual services are also provided in Burnley, Nelson, Blackpool, Chorley, Preston, Burscough, Lancaster and Morecambe.

The service, provided by Blackburn Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, offers around 2,500 appointments per year and can see 200 people at any one time.

It operates on an appointment-only system with appointments lasting around 50 minutes.

Referrals are received from GPs, primary and secondary healthcare practitioners, mental health services, social care and a variety of other agencies.

Ms Roberts, who has run the service since 2002 and works with a team of six other therapists, four trainees and three admin staff, said: “We will see people over a period of time and the therapy is based on what they want to achieve.

“So a person who thinks they have premature ejaculation may have an unrealistic expectation of how long it should take them to ejaculate and think that 15 minutes is a short amount of time, for instance.”

During appointments, patients work with their therapist to identify the problems with their sex lives and then develop a treatment plan that is specific to their needs.

The sexual problem may have a physical or psychological cause, or a combination of both.

Ms Roberts added: “I just want people to use the service as we’re lucky in Lancashire to have such a big provision on the NHS.

“So I want people to take that step and talk to us as it will make a massive difference.

“Some people don’t know about the services and others may not want to come forward because of perceived embarrassment of talking about sex.

“But it’s brave to get help and I want to raise awareness so people do come forward.”

To contact SHARE, people can ring 01254 283333 or 07538475987.