Although men of all ages can have sexual dysfunction, older men are at highest risk. The most common problems under this category are erectile dysfunction, ejaculation disorders, and low sexual desire. These issues are often fixed by treating their underlying causes.
What Is Male Sexual Dysfunction?
Any sexual concerns which prevent you or your partner from getting sexual satisfaction are termed as sexual dysfunction. Male sexual dysfunction is a widespread medical condition which can affect males of all ages, but older males are more susceptible to the condition. There are several treatment options available, consult your healthcare specialist to cure your condition effectively.
Following are the primary type of male sexual dysfunction:
- Erectile dysfunction - difficulty obtaining and keeping an erection for long enough
- Premature ejaculation - attaining orgasm too soon
- Delayed ejaculation - reaching orgasm too slow or not at all.
- Low libido - low sexual desire
What Causes Male Sexual Dysfunction?
There may be several causes of male sexual dysfunction, which are classified under physical and psychological reasons. Have a glance -
Physical causes include the following:
- Low testosterone levels
- Alcoholism and drug abuse
- Stroke or nerve damage due to diabetes or surgery
- Blood vessel disorders including high blood pressure and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
- Certain prescription drugs (such as high blood pressure medicines or antidepressants)
Psychological causes include the following:
- Marital or relationship problems
- Work-related stress and anxiety
- Concern about sexual performance
- Effects of past sexual trauma
- Depression, feelings of guilt
How It Affects Men?
The most common sexual problems men usually face is difficulty attaining or keeping an erection, troubles with ejaculation, and low sexual desire.
Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the incapability to attain or keep an erection long enough for satisfying sexual intercourse. The condition is quite common. Studies suggest that nearly half of the men over the age of 40 years have ED.
Common causes of erectile dysfunction are:
- Stress, depression, performance anxiety and relationship conflicts
- Nerve disorders
- Chronic illness including high blood pressure or diabetes
- Diseases impacting blood flow including hardening of the arteries
- Injury to the penis
- Poor lifestyle choices like overeating, lack of physical activity, smoking, excessive alcoholism
Some of the common ejaculation disorders are:
- Premature ejaculation (PE): Ejaculation that takes place before or too soon after penetration
- Inhibited or delayed ejaculation: Ejaculation that takes a very long time or does not happen at all.
- Retrograde ejaculation: The orgasm is pushed back into the bladder, and not through the end of the penis.
The reason why premature ejaculation happens is not sure. While in several cases, PE, it is because of the performance anxiety during sex. The other possible factors include:
- Low self-confidence
- History of sexual repression
- Temporary depression
- Lack of communication or unsettled conflict with the partner
Studies indicate that the disintegration of serotonin (a happy chemical that improves mood) could play a crucial role in PE. Certain prescription drugs, including antidepressants, may influence ejaculation, so inform your doctor about your current medications.
Physical causes for delayed ejaculation can include chronic health conditions, side effects of medications, surgeries or alcohol abuse. The problem may also be caused because of psychological factors, including stress, anxiety, depression, and relationship conflicts.
Retrograde ejaculation is very common in males with diabetes who have diabetic nerve damage. Issues with the nerves of the bladder or the bladder neck force the ejaculate to push backwards. In some cases, retrograde ejaculation can be a side effect of certain medications, or occur after surgery of the bladder neck or prostate.
Low Libido (Low Sexual Desire)
It is a condition in which you experience reduced interest in sex. It is usually linked with reduced levels of testosterone (male hormone). Testosterone sustains sperm production, sex drive, hair, bones, and muscles. Low testosterone levels can influence your mood and body.
Anxiety, depression, relationship difficulties can also cause low libido. High blood pressure, diabetes, and certain prescription medications such as antidepressants may also lead to a low sexual desire.
How Is Male Sexual Dysfunction Diagnosed?
Your healthcare provider may start the diagnosis process with a physical exam. Physical diagnostic tests may include the following:
- Blood tests to monitor your testosterone levels, cholesterol and blood sugar
- Checking blood pressure
- Physical examination of your penis and testicles.
- Rectal exam to review your prostate
- Other tests can demonstrate if you have issues with blood flow to the penis.
Your healthcare provider can also ask the symptoms you’re experiencing and your complete medical and sexual history. Do not be embarrassed to answer all the questions correctly. It is crucial to answering honestly, so the best treatment can be suggested. You may be sent to a sexual health specialist for a more in-depth diagnosis.