Sexual dysfunction can be defined as any physical or psychological problem that prevents a man from enjoying or wanting sexual activity. The likelihood of sexual dysfunction increases with age but can also occur due to psychological issues (such as stress, anxiety or sexual trauma), medical conditions (such as diabetes or heart disease), substance abuse, or certain medications.
What are the types of male sexual dysfunction?
A sexual condition should not be considered a disorder unless it happens regularly or impacts your quality of life. There are four categories of sexual dysfunction disorders:
- Desire disorder: Most people are not in the mood at some stage of their adult life, which is natural. However, desire disorder describes a condition where you have little or no interest in sexual contact on an ongoing basis.
- Pain disorder: Various conditions can make sexual activity painful for men, including: Peyronie’s disease (physical damage to the penis), infections, and skin conditions.
- Arousal disorder: This type of disorder is when you are emotionally in the mood for sexual activity but find it difficult to become physically aroused.
- Orgasm disorder: This condition is when you are fully aroused but are frustrated by an inability to climax caused by factors such as tiredness or reduced libido.
Erectile dysfunction (ED), also known as impotence, is when a man is unable to get or maintain an erection for sexual intercourse. Causes of ED include health problems such as poor blood circulation, an injury to the penis, nerve disorders, Peyronie’s disease, and chronic illness. It can also result from psychological issues such as relationship problems, stress, or depression. Prolonged ED can cause significant distress to the sufferer and affect various aspects of their life.
Priapism is a painful condition in which a man has a prolonged erection without sexual desire. This disorder usually occurs due to injury to the spine or genital area or carbon monoxide poisonings and requires immediate medical attention.
Premature ejaculation occurs when a man ejaculates before or immediately after penetration. Causes include psychological issues such as performance anxiety, stressors, sexual inhibitions, physical problems such as nerve or spinal cord damage, or some medications.
Inhibited ejaculation, on the other hand, is when you can’t ejaculate. Some men, particularly those with diabetic neuropathy, experience ‘retrograde ejaculation’, which means ejaculation enters the bladder rather than exiting through the penis when they climax.
Treatment options for sexual dysfunction include:
- Healthy lifestyle: our doctor may advise you to quit smoking, avoid drinking alcohol, and exercise regularly. These changes can improve both your overall health and sexual ability.
- Psychological therapy to help you deal with the psychological problems that are affecting your sexual life.
- Medications that increase blood flow to the penis and improve sexual function.
- Hormone replacement therapy to raise low testosterone levels.
- Medical equipment that help with erectile dysfunction, such as vacuum devices and penile implants.
- Surgery to correct penile abnormalities.
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