Sexual dysfunction is quite a common health issue in men nowadays. It refers to the problem that prevents an individual from enjoying or experiencing satisfaction or pleasure from sexual activity.
Now, let us find out that what triggers these sexual dysfunctions.
Major Causes of Sexual Dysfunction
The causes that trigger sexual dysfunctions in men can be broadly categorized under two divisions: Physical and Psychological.
Physical causes: Most of us are not aware of the facts that a number of health or medical conditions can lead to sexual dysfunctions and often wonder that why they are having problems with sexual functions. You will amazed to learn that a number of medical conditions like diabetes, neurological disorders, heart and vascular disease, some chronic diseases like liver or kidney failure and most importantly hormonal imbalances can lead to serious sexual problems in men.
Besides these factors, alcoholism, drug abuse and side-effects of certain types of medications, including few antidepressants drugs also affect sexual drive and functions.
Psychological causes: This factor is quite common nowadays, since most men suffer from work-related stress and anxiety and this affect their sexual performance greatly. Moreover, it has been studied that depression, marital issues or relationship problems or past sexual trauma can also adversely affect the sexual desire in men.
Here, we have discussed on some of the most common health problems in men related to sexual dysfunction.
1. Premature Ejaculation
Premature ejaculation is one of the most common sexual compliant in men. Estimations found that one out of three men are affected by this health issue. This occurs when a person ejaculates before or sooner after the intercourse. Both biological and psychological factors are responsible for this health problem. Though most men do not feel comfortable in discussing about the issue, it is treatable in most cases.
The primary symptom of premature ejaculation is ejaculation that occurs just before the beginning of the intercourse or shortly afterwards before the wish of either of the partner and causes stress. However, this problem may take place in all sexual situations, even while masturbating. This ailment is generally classified by doctors’ under tow categories: lifelong (primary) and acquired (secondary).
The International Society for Sexual Medicine has pointed out some essential features of lifelong premature ejaculation:
Ejaculation that most of the time happens within couple of seconds of intercourse.
The inability to hold back ejaculation just after the vaginal penetration.
Loss of interest in physical intimacy.
The symptoms of secondary premature ejaculation are found to be similar to the symptoms of lifelong premature ejaculation. However, there is a single key difference.
Secondary premature ejaculation commonly develops in men who have not suffered ejaculatory issues previously and have experienced satisfying physical relationships and acquired the health issue due to some reason.
Beforehand only psychological causes were held responsible for this ejaculatory problem. However, doctors are also now considering biological factors that may also contribute in developing this problem.
Problems of hormonal secretion in the body
Problems in the level of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters
Dysfunction of the reflex activity of the ejaculatory system
Infection or inflammation of the urethra or prostate
Damage of nervous system due to any trauma or surgery is also a rare cause of premature ejaculation
Some major psychological factors are:
Anxiety: Many men during the sexual intercourse are highly concerned in obtaining and maintaining their erection for longer period of time and they concentrate a lot on their sexual performance. This often leads to anxiety and the person rushes to ejaculate before time.
Stress: Any mental trauma or emotional strain often leads to stress. Stress affects human health adversely and it has been found that men suffering from stress often develop sexual problems like premature ejaculation.
Incompatible relationship: It has been commonly noticed that interpersonal issues are often responsible for this typical sexual dysfunction.
There are some rare drugs that affect the action of chemical messengers in the brain. This often contributes to premature ejaculation.
Treatments and drugs
Sexual therapy is quite effective in treating the symptoms of premature ejaculation and often prescribed by doctors. One of the common types of sexual therapy is masturbating few hours before the intercourse, so that ejaculation gets delayed during the sexual act. Some doctors also recommend avoiding vaginal penetration for a specific period of time and to focus on some other kind of sexual play to reduce stress or anxiety that many men experience during the intercourse.
Many doctors suggest certain antidepressants to treat this sexual health issue. Some urologists prescribe selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft) or fluoxetine (Prozac) to delay ejaculation. However, it may take around 10 days to get effect from these drugs.
If the doctor finds no improvement in the timing of ejaculation, sometimes tricyclic antidepressant clomipramine (Anafranil) is also prescribed, which has proved to benefit individuals suffering from this specific disorder.
Topical anaesthetic creams
Topical anaesthetic medication is also prescribed by doctors to prevent fast ejaculation. They are applied on the penis shortly before the intercourse. This reduces the sensation during the intercourse and controls ejaculation. A number of reputed compounding pharmacies supply a range of topical anaesthetic creams. However, it is best to consult an experienced doctor who will prescribe you the suitable one, based on your medical history and reports.
Counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy
This is generally recommended by doctors in combination with medication. This is a kind of talk therapy where you need to converse with a mental healthcare expert. It has been found to be effective in reducing stress and anxiety.
2. Erectile dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction, commonly termed as ED is the inability in men to sustain or maintain erection during the sexual intercourse. If erectile difficulty persists for a brief period, you can avoid visiting doctors. However, if it is a persisting problem, it is essential to visit an urologist to treat the health problem.
Difficulty in attaining an erection
Inability to sustain an erection
Only being able to attain erection while masturbating, but not at the time of sexual intercourse
Ageing is not the primary cause of erectile dysfunction as many young men also experience the problem. ED generally develops due to specific health condition.
The physical causes can be categorized in four sections:
Hormonal: inadequate hormonal secretion or abnormal level of hormone in body
Anatomical: some sort of defect with the physical structure of the penis
Vasculogenic: Insufficient flow of blood to the penis
Neurogenic: the nervous system gets affected (nerves, brain and spinal cord)
Keep reading to find out the common physical conditions that can lead to this disorder.
Treatment of enlarged prostate
Hypogonadism (low level of testosterone hormone)
Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism (overactive and underactive thyroid)
In some cases both physical and psychological causes trigger the disorder. For instance, a person suffering from diabetes may develop some sexual problem and may become stressed and anxious about it. Then the combination of both stress and diabetes may develop erectile dysfunction.
Test and diagnosis
You doctor may examine the penis to find out whether there is any structural issue with the organ. You may also need to do some blood tests to check the level of some essential hormones in your body.
Intracavernous injection test: A synthetic hormone is sometimes injected into the penis to boost the flow of blood. If no erection is found, it implies that the person is having issues with supply of blood or blood vessels and the doctor may prescribe an ultrasound scan.
Duplex ultrasound scan is also sometime prescribed to measure the flow of blood inside the penis.
To treat erectile dysfunction it is essential to do proper treatment of the underlying health conditions first. In many cases, it has been found that just by diagnosing the underlying health conditions, the issues of ED have been resolved.
In many cases oral pharmacological treatment is recommended by doctors to boost the ability to attain and maintain the erection. Some common types of medications are phosphodiesterase (PDE-5) inhibitors and apomorphine.
This is another effective pharmacological solution that is applied in the urethra to improve erection. It can be maintained with the help of an elastic band applied at the base of the penis.
As discussed earlier, this is one of the most effective treatments to improve the condition. Solutions for the injections are prepared with different components like alprostadil, papaverine and drug combinations. They are also convenient for patients who are not compatible with oral therapies.
However, ED treatment is recommended by doctors depending on several factors, including the age of the patient, medication tolerance, severity of the disease, underlying health conditions and more.
3. Low Libido
Low sexual desire is another health problem found in men. Though the figure of men having low libido is not alarming, according to Irwin Goldstein, the chief editor of The Journal of Sexual Medicine and the director of sexual medicine at the Alvarado Hospital at San Diego, about one in five men have low sexual drive. And this is often termed as hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD).
However, low libido in men should not be confused with erectile dysfunction, since it has been found that most men with low sexual drive have no issues in achieving erection.
Though ageing is a major factor for low sexual drive, there are also other reasons responsible for this disorder.
Causes of lack of libido in men:
Major disease such as diabetes
Underactive thyroid gland
Prescribed drugs: Many drugs particularly Proscar (finasteride) are often recommended by doctors to treat prostate problems. Such drugs affect the sexual drive of men.
Stress and depression
Each cause of reduced sexual drive has its own treatment. However some common changes in lifestyle like regular exercise to reduce bodyweight, limiting alcohol consumption, smoking cessation, a healthy diet can help in addressing the issue.
Whatever may be the problem, it is best to visit an experienced urologist to diagnose the issue effectively.