What is male sexual dysfunction?
Male sexual dysfunction covers the physical and psychological issues that prevent men and their partners from sexual satisfaction. Sexual dysfunction is a common health problem among older men, but it can appear at any age. The main types of male sexual dysfunction include:
- Low libido/sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction
- Premature ejaculation
- Delayed or inhibited ejaculation
Low libido refers to a decrease in sexual interest or desire. This condition is often linked to low levels of testosterone. Testosterone (T) is a male hormone that maintains sperm production and sex drive (as well as muscle, bones and hair). Low T can affect both your body and your mood, making it harder to perform. Anxiety, depression and relationship issues may also reduce your sexual desire. If you suffer from high blood pressure and/or diabetes, or you take antidepressants, this may also negatively impact your libido.
Erectile dysfunction, or ED, is the inability to achieve and keep an erection for sexual intercourse. ED is more common among American men over the age of 40, but it can affect younger men too. Erectile dysfunction may be caused by stress, depression, diseases that affect blood flow, nerve disorders, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, unhealthy lifestyle habits or an injury to the penis.
Premature ejaculation is ejaculation that occurs before or shortly after penetration. The exact cause is unknown, although stress, temporary depression, performance anxiety and low self-confidence may be factors. Studies also suggest that premature ejaculation may result from the breakdown of serotonin (a natural chemical that affects mood).
Some men suffer from inhibited or delayed ejaculation, in which ejaculation either takes a long time or does not happen at all. Many antidepressants have this side effect. Retrograde ejaculation may also occur, which is when ejaculate is forced back into the bladder instead of through the penis. This is more common among men taking medications for enlarged prostate, or BPH, as well as diabetics who suffer from diabetic nerve damage. Issues with the nerves in the bladder and the bladder neck force the ejaculate to flow backward.
What are the causes of sexual dysfunction among men?
The physical causes of male sexual dysfunction include:
- Low testosterone levels (low T)
- Medication for depression and high blood pressure (and other prescription drugs)
- Medications for an enlarged prostate (BPH)
- Drug abuse
- Blood vessel disorders (atherosclerosis, which is a hardening of the arteries)
- High blood pressure
- Nerve damage (from diabetes or surgery)
The psychological causes of male sexual dysfunction include:
- Effects of previous sexual trauma
- Stress and anxiety
- Concern about sexual performance
- Marital or relationship issues
Schedule treatments in the South Bay
At South Bay Urology in Torrance, California, we provide treatment to men who experience sexual dysfunction. Evaluation starts with a comprehensive history and physical. Often, medication adjustment and/or lifestyle changes are implemented first. Medications such as Viagra and Cialis are commonly used. GAINSWave is a surgery-free, non-invasive treatment that improves erections by increasing blood flow to the penis. It is a great treatment for optimizing erections, sensitivity and sexual performance. The P-Shot is an injection that can result in improved erections that are larger, firmer and more frequent. Other treatment options include penile injection therapy, vacuum-erection devices or penile prosthesis placement.
If you are struggling with sexual dysfunction, there are multiple options that can help you. To get started, give us a call at (310) 542-0199 or fill out the appointment request form on our site. The experts at South Bay Urology can help you feel like yourself again!