5 Facts All Men Should Know About Sexual Problems and Dysfunction

Sexual health is definitely something most men care about. 

Since puberty, they usually have questions about sexual activity and worry about their performance. 

This continues during adulthood, and the worry does not tend to reduce as we age. Even as a senior, the prospect of having sexual problems is usually alarming.

But the topic of sexual dysfunction in men goes beyond erectile function. 

It is like an intricate network of roads instead of a single highway. Thus, there are probably many facts you still don’t know about sexuality, erectile dysfunction, and premature ejaculation.

We are not trying to cover all of them at once but will instead give you five facts all men should know about sexual problems and dysfunction.

What is male sexual dysfunction?

Sexual dysfunction in men is a broad spectrum of conditions. What they all have in common is they all affect a man’s sexual health. 

While it is normal to experience fluctuations in sexual desire, men typically enjoy sex and find it pleasurable. 

When the experience becomes frustrating or stressful, there is probably a type of sexual dysfunction going on. It can be a physical problem or something deep within yourself.

Erectile dysfunction is one of the most commonly discussed sexual problems. It affects seniors but may also strike young adults and adolescents. 

Premature ejaculation is also common, and there are other less popular conditions such as retrograde ejaculation.

Bringing all sexual health problems together, we can have three types of disorder:

  • Sexual desire disorders, the main problem is a lack of interest in sex.
  • Sexual arousal disorders, in which the body cannot respond, even when sexual desire is present.
  • Orgasm disorders, in which orgasms are not reached or not experienced as pleasurable.

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5 Facts All Men Should Know About Sexual Problems and Dysfunction

With the information above in mind, let us review five facts about sexual dysfunction in men:

1. Cardiovascular disease can be the cause of a sexual problem

In some cases, there are biological causes of sexual problems. For example, erectile dysfunction is a common problem in patients with cardiovascular disease. 

Erectile function depends on the blood flow, which reaches the penile tissue and triggers an erection. Blood vessel damage and circulatory issues compromise the blood flow and hamper erections.

Thus, sexual dysfunction can sometimes reflect heart disease and other health problems. As a part of the treatment, you should rule out high blood pressure, diabetes, and other conditions that affect blood circulation.

Interestingly, many patients find out and start treating cardiovascular disease after consulting about sexual problems. 

Do not hesitate to talk to your doctor. They are used to answering questions about sexual health. After answering your questions, they will help you find out if sexual health issues are a part of a bigger problem (1).

2. Mental health plays a vital role in sexuality

Sexual dysfunction in men is not reserved for seniors. Young men can also have erectile dysfunction very frequently, especially when they are nervous. 

You need an intact cardiovascular system to trigger erectile function, but mental health is also essential:

  • Performance anxiety is a common cause of erectile dysfunction.
  • Stress and apprehension may lead to premature ejaculation.
  • Depression reduces sexual desire and may cause a sexual arousal problem.
  • Psychiatric patients are more likely to suffer from sexual dysfunction.

If you don’t have any biological cause of sexual problems, it is probably in your mind. That is not necessarily problematic. 

You could be simply nervous about your sexual performance or stressed after a long day at work. With that in mind, it is not surprising that some professionals recommend psychotherapy as a first-line treatment (2).

3. Some medications may aggravate or trigger sexual dysfunction

In some cases, sexual dysfunction is a side effect of medical treatment. For example:

Your doctor can adequately address these sexual problems triggered by medications. So, instead of discontinuing treatment, talk about your sexual health with them. Do not blame your meds right away, and remember there are other causes to consider (3).

4. Senior men can have an active and healthy sexuality

We typically associate erectile dysfunction with senior men. But that is not necessarily the case. 

They are not meant to have an erection problem regardless of their age. The causes of sexual dysfunction in men are biological, psychiatric, or chemical. 

Senior men are more likely to have these problems but are not destined to reduce or stop enjoying sexual activity.

Naturally, they will experience changes in their sexual function. They may need more stimulation and foreplay to achieve an erection. They may find sexual intercourse difficult if they suffer from chronic pain. 

But we can address most of these issues with medical treatment and herbal remedies. Surgery can also be considered in very severe cases that do not respond to any other therapy (4).

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5. A healthy lifestyle reflects in your sexual health

You are less likely to suffer from sexual dysfunction if your overall health is conserved. Sexual problems are usually triggered by cardiovascular disease, metabolic issues, or mental health issues. Thus, living a healthy lifestyle and taking care of yourself can really make a difference in your sexual health.

  • Eating healthily keeps your blood pressure, serum lipids, and circulation at their best.
  • Exercising regularly will promote a healthier blood flow and releases mental tension.
  • Cultivating a healthy relationship with your loved ones and coworkers gives you mental clarity and reduces stress.
  • Erectile dysfunction improves significantly after treating high blood pressure and diabetes.

These lifestyle changes are not difficult to adopt, but it may take time before you notice the difference. The effect of lifestyle changes builds up over time, but it is probably the best solution you can adopt (5).

Conclusion

Sexual dysfunction is a complex topic, and there is no single cause. There are different types, and each one has its triggers and solutions. Thus, your doctor may need to search through biological causes, psychological triggers, and medications before reaching a conclusion.

Sometimes sexual problems are the manifestation of an underlying issue we need to solve. So, do not hesitate to talk to your doctor about erectile dysfunction or a similar problem. You will receive a treatment option, guidance, and a solid course of action to follow.

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Sources

  1. Hackett, G., Krychman, M., Baldwin, D., Bennett, N., El-Zawahry, A., Graziottin, A., … & Incrocci, L. (2016). Coronary heart disease, diabetes, and sexuality in men. The journal of sexual medicine, 13(6), 887-904. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27215685/ 
  2. Richards, C., & Barker, M. (2013). Sexuality and gender for mental health professionals: A practical guide. Sage.
  3. Conaglen, H. M., & Conaglen, J. V. (2013). Drug-induced sexual dysfunction in men and women.
  4. Foley, S. (2015). Older adults and sexual health: A review of current literature. Current Sexual Health Reports, 7(2), 70-79. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11930-015-0046-x
  5. Allen, M. S., & Walter, E. E. (2018). Health-related lifestyle factors and sexual dysfunction: a meta-analysis of population-based research. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 15(4), 458-475. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29523476/

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