Sexual Dysfunction in Males
Male sexual dysfunction
Sexual dysfunction refers to a problem during any phase of the sexual response cycle that prevents the individual or couple from experiencing satisfaction from the sexual activity. The sexual response cycle has four phases: excitement, plateau, orgasm and resolution.
Also known as impotence, erectile dysfunction is defined as the inability to attain and/or maintain an erection suitable for intercourse. Causes of erectile dysfunction include diseases affecting blood flow, such as atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries); nerve disorders; psychological factors such as stress, depression and performance anxiety; and injury to the penis. Chronic illness, certain medications and a condition called Peyronie’s disease (scar tissue in the penis) also can cause erectile dysfunction.
There are different types of ejaculation disorders, including:
- Premature ejaculation — This refers to ejaculation that occurs before or soon after penetration.
- Inhibited or retarded ejaculation —This is when ejaculation does not occur.
- Retrograde ejaculation — This occurs when, at orgasm, the ejaculate is forced back into the bladder rather than through the urethra and out the end of the penis.
In some cases, premature and inhibited ejaculation are caused by psychological factors, including a strict religious background that causes the person to view sex as sinful, a lack of attraction for a partner and past traumatic events (such as being discovered in masturbation or illicit sex, or learning one's partner is having an affair). Premature ejaculation, the most common form of sexual dysfunction in men, often is due to performance anxiety during sex. However, organic causes are sometimes present. Certain drugs, including some anti-depressants, may impair ejaculation, as can nerve damage to the spinal cord or back.
Retrograde ejaculation is most common in males with diabetes who suffer from diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage). This is due to problems with the nerves in the bladder and the bladder neck that allow the ejaculate to flow backward. In other men, retrograde ejaculation occurs after operations on the bladder neck or prostate, or after certain abdominal operations. In addition, certain medications, particularly those used to treat mood disorders, may cause problems with ejaculation.
Inhibited sexual desire (reduced libido)
Inhibited desire, or loss of libido, refers to a decrease in desire for or interest in sexual activity. Reduced libido can result from physical or psychological factors. It has been associated with low levels of the hormone testosterone. It also may be caused by psychological problems, such as anxiety and depression; medical illnesses such as diabetes and high blood pressure; certain medications, including some anti-depressants; and relationship difficulties.
What causes sexual dysfunction?
Causes of sexual dysfunction include:
Physical causes — Many physical and/or medical conditions can cause problems with sexual function. These conditions include diabetes, heart and vascular (blood vessel) disease, neurological disorders, hormonal imbalances, chronic diseases such as kidney or liver failure, and alcoholism and drug abuse. In addition, the side effects of certain medications, including some antidepressants drugs, can affect sexual desire and function.
Psychological causes — These include work-related stress and anxiety, concern about sexual performance, marital or relationship problems, depression, feelings of guilt, and the effects of a past sexual trauma.
Male sexual dysfunction treatment
Many cases of sexual dysfunction can be corrected by treating the underlying physical or psychological problems. Treatment strategies may include the following:
Medical treatment — This involves treatment of any physical problem that may be contributing to a man’s sexual dysfunction. Homeopathy medicines works well in Male sexual dysfunction.
Psychological therapy — Therapy with a trained counsellor can help a person address feelings of anxiety, fear or guilt that may have an impact on sexual function.
Education and communication — Education about sex, and sexual behaviours and responses may help a man overcome his anxieties about sexual function. Open dialogue with your partner about your needs and concerns also helps to overcome many barriers to a healthy sex life.
When will you consult your doctor
Many men experience a problem with sexual function from time to time. However, when the problems are persistent, they can cause distress for the man and his partner, and have a negative impact on their relationship. If you consistently experience sexual function problems, especially with erectile dysfunction, consult your doctor for evaluation and treatment.
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