Something’s Not Right—Sexual Dysfunction

Part 1 Men
Sexual dysfunction is something that not many people like to talk about, but it affects both men and women. According to WebMD, 43 percent of women and 31 percent of men surveyed have reported issues with their sexual response that keeps them from experiencing satisfaction. In this first post, we’ll delve into sexual dysfunction in men. Later in the month, part two will focus on the issue for women.

Sexual Dysfunction In Men
How are the 31 percent of men that report having issues with sexual satisfaction affected? For men the issue falls into three categories: ejaculation disorders, erectile dysfunction and inhibited sexual desire.

There are three kinds of ejaculation disorders: premature, inhibited or retrograde. Premature describes ejaculation that happens just prior to intercourse or very soon after intercourse begins. Inhibited ejaculation is when ejaculation is slow to happen, while retrograde means ejaculation that does not come out of the penis but is forced back into the bladder via the urethra.

Erectile dysfunction, often referred to as ED, happens when a man is unable to attain or sustain an erection for intercourse. Finally inhibited sexual desire is a loss of desire or interest in sexual activity.

The Causes Of Sexual Dysfunction
Some sexual dysfunctions can be linked to physical causes, other to psychological, and sometimes a combination of the two affect a man’s sexual response. For instance, premature ejaculation can be the result of concerns over the man’s ability to perform during sex. However, there are also certain drugs, particularly antidepressants that can affect ejaculation in men. Meanwhile, retrograde ejaculation is often a side effect of diabetes, particular if the man suffers from diabetic neuropathy (or nerve damage) as a result of his diabetes. Unless this is impairing fertility, there is no real need for treatment.

Erectile dysfunction can be the result of both physical and psychological problems. Certain diseases that affect blood flow, such as atherosclerosis (or hardening of the arteries) can cause ED. Stress and performance anxiety can also cause men to have difficulty attaining and maintain an erection.

Evaluating Sexual Problems
What can you expect if you consult your doctor about any of these areas of sexual dysfunction? Potentially your doctor will order a series of tests, such as blood work to evaluate hormone levels and to check for other medical issues. Other tests may include a vascular assessment, which looks at the blood flow to the penis, or a nocturnal penile tumescence and rigidity testing, which helps determine if the sexual problems lie in the physical or psychological realm. Depending on the results of these tests, your doctor may refer you to an urologist (someone who focuses on the urinary tract and the male reproductive system), an endocrinologist (a physician that specializes in hormones in the body) or a neurologist (a doctor of the nervous system and its disorders).