Male sexual dysfunction is a condition that affects millions of American men. In fact, it’s difficult to calculate precisely the number of men who share in this condition because so many feel too embarrassed to seek help.
The fact is, male sexual dysfunction is nothing to be ashamed of, as it’s a medical circumstance over which you have no control. Just as you can’t control whether you contract the common cold, you cannot predict if this condition will strike you. But, how do you know if your problem is considered a sexual dysfunction?
Four Main Disorders That Cause Sexual Dysfunction
Experts break sexual dysfunction into four general classifications.
- Desire disorders, in which men have lost interest in and desire to have sex.
- Arousal disorders, where men cannot become excited about sexual activity.
- Orgasm disorders, in which men can’t control the timing of their orgasm.
- Pain disorders, which cause men to feel pain during sexual intercourse.
It’s important that you understand that the 10 symptoms indicate that you fall into one of these classifications, and it’s essential for you to seek treatment.
Top 10 Indicators of Sexual Dysfunction in Males
- Lack of sex drive or low libido; no interest in sexual activities that you once enjoyed.
- Unable to become erect at all.
- Cannot become erect enough to penetrate. Please note: this varies from the last point. Here, you may become erect, but cannot become sufficiently erect for sexual penetration.
- Inability to have an orgasm despite satisfying stimulation or sexual activity.
- Only able to have an orgasm when receiving oral sex or masturbating.
- Can only reach an orgasm after a noticeably long period of pleasurable stimulation.
- Early ejaculation or uncontrolled ejaculation that happens quickly during sexual activities.
- Unable to ejaculate at all despite being engaged in satisfying sexual activity.
- Blood in the ejaculate.
- A persistent erect penis, even when no longer sexually aroused. If your erection persists for four hours or longer, you may suffer from blood flowing into the penis but not back out, a condition that’s called priapism. Call your doctor for immediate instructions as this can cause long-lasting consequences.
The majority of men only experience one or two of these symptoms. However, other men may exhibit multiple symptoms. The likelihood of suffering these symptoms increases with age.
How Do You Know What Symptoms Are Serious?
In most cases, sexual dysfunction indicates an underlying problem. While the symptoms themselves may be inconvenient, it’s more important to uncover the root cause as they can point to other medical issues.
Some medical causes of sexual dysfunction are as follows:
- Poor nutrition may cause fatigue, tiredness, and even low libido
- Insufficient sleep or poor sleep hygiene
- Changes in hormones as you age
- Inadequate blood flow due to a circulatory problem
- Chronic diseases
- Psychological disorders, depression, or past trauma
- The use of certain prescription medications
If you are taking prescription medications, check in with our pharmacists; they can tell you if your medication may be the cause of your condition. If they don’t see any interactions that cause them any concern, they will advise you to seek help from your family doctor.
How Do Doctors Diagnose Sexual Dysfunction?
When it’s time to ask your doctor for advice, he’s going to ask you a lot of questions. Answer honestly, and don’t feel embarrassed (although that might be easier said than done). Your physician has heard the story from other men in the past, and he’s the professional who can restore your sexual relationship.
- The doctor will review your medical history. He’s looking for any past medical conditions that could contribute to your current state.
- Your doctor will administer a comprehensive physical. He will examine you and decide if you have any of those underlying medical causes that could be the culprit wreaking havoc on your love life. Diagnosing sexual dysfunction is often a matter of “ruling out” conditions until the doctor can pinpoint the exact reason for the condition.
- The doctor might order diagnostic tests, such as lab work or x-rays if he suspects any serious illness might be to blame or to get a better overall picture of your general health and measure the level of certain hormones in your system.
What’s the Recommended Treatment?
Your doctor will recommend treatment based on the classification of your sexual dysfunction. Some of the more likely treatment plans are the following:
First of all, if an interaction with a prescription is the cause of your sexual dysfunction, your doctor will order a replacement medication. However, if your lab work indicates hormonal challenges, he will prescribe medication to rebalance your system.
Vacuum constriction device (VCD)
Should the doctor decide that you need it, he will recommend a mechanical device to aid with achieving an erection. This device is a Vacuum Constriction Device (VCD). It’s a pump that men use to combat issues with proper blood flow to the penis.
Doctors routinely refer those men who experience sexual dysfunction resulting from a past trauma to a psychotherapist. This professional can help people let go of past issues that are creating negative consequences on the sex drive.
Rarely, there are men for whom prescription medication, counseling, or mechanical devices don’t work. Fortunately, there is a surgical treatment available if you fall into this category. Your family doctor can send you to a urologist to receive a penile implant (aka penile prostheses). This prosthesis will be inserted into the interior chambers of your penis. This is an inflatable prosthesis that allows you to have an erection when you are ready.
Sexual dysfunction, in and of itself, is not usually a serious condition. Once you work with your medical care providers to uncover the underlying causes, most treatments are safe, simple, and effective.
Begin by checking with pharmacist to determine if you are taking any over-the-counter or prescription drugs that can be causing your concern, then escalate to the family doctor for additional advice.
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