What is Sexual Dysfunction in Males?
Sexual dysfunction is any physical or psychological problem that prevents you or your partner from getting sexual satisfaction. Male sexual dysfunction is a common health problem affecting men of all ages but is more common with increasing age. Treatment can often help men suffering from sexual dysfunction.
The main types of male sexual dysfunction are:
- Erectile dysfunction(difficulty getting/keeping an erection).
- Premature ejaculation(reaching orgasm too quickly).
- Delayed or inhibited ejaculation (reaching orgasm too slowly or not at all).
- Low libido (reduced interest in sex).
Physical causes of overall sexual dysfunction may be:
- Low testosterone levels
- Prescription drugs
- Blood vessel disorders and high blood pressure
- Stroke or nerve damage from diabetes or surgery
- Drug abuse
Psychological causes might include:
- Concern about sexual performance.
- Marital or relationship problems.
- Depression, feelings of guilt.
- Effects of past sexual trauma.
- Work-related stress and anxiety.
How is male sexual dysfunction diagnosed?
Your doctor may begin the diagnosis process with a physical exam. Physical tests may include:
- Blood tests to check your testosterone levels, blood sugar (for diabetes), and cholesterol.
- Blood pressure check.
- Rectal exam to check your prostate.
- Examination of your penis and testicles.
Other tests can show if you have problems with blood flow to the penis.
Your doctor may also ask questions about your symptoms and your medical and sexual history. Though these questions may seem very personal, do not be embarrassed. It is important to answer honestly so the best treatment can be recommended. You may be sent to a different type of doctor (urologist, endocrinologist, or sex therapist, for example) who can help you.
How is male sexual dysfunction treated?
Many cases of sexual dysfunction can be corrected by treating the mental or physical problems that cause it. Treatments include:
- Medications: Drugs that help improve sexual function by increasing blood flow to the penis. Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis are safe and effective for most men.
- Hormone therapy: Low levels of testosterone raised by hormone replacement therapies that include injections, patches or gels.
- Psychological therapy: A psychological counselor to help you address feelings of anxiety, depression, fear or guilt that may affect sexual function.
- Mechanical aids: Vacuum devices and penile implants that can help some men with erectile dysfunction.