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Sexual Dysfunction

The sexual act passes through phases of desire, arousal, plateau, orgasm and resolution. Male sexual dysfunction occurs when they have difficulty experiencing any of these phases which may either affect enjoyment or completion of the sexual act. Sexual dysfunction in men may include:

  • Desire disorders: Problems with desire or interest in sex
  • Arousal disorders: Problems with achieving and maintaining an erection necessary for sex. They may include erectile dysfunction, delayed ejaculation or premature ejaculation.
  • Orgasm disorders: Achieving ejaculation or orgasm too early, too late or not at all
  • Pain disorders: Experiencing pain during intercourse

The reason for sexual dysfunction may either be physical or psychological. Physical causes include:

  • Neurological disorders
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Diseases such as diabetes, vascular disease, heart disease, kidney and liver failure
  • Alcoholism, drug abuse
  • Certain medications such as antidepressants

Psychological causes include:

  • Performance anxiety
  • Relationship problems
  • Feeling of guilt
  • Depression
  • Poor self-image
  • Past sexual failures

When you or your partner recognize that you are having sexual difficulties, it is necessary to seek assistance as many forms of sexual dysfunction are treatable. Your doctor will review your symptoms and history and perform a physical examination with tests to identify any medical problems which might be causing your sexual dysfunction. You will also be interviewed to identify if you have an underlying marital problem, substance abuse, or psychological causes such as anxiety, fear, and negative past experiences or relationship problems.

Sexual dysfunction is usually treated by managing the underlying cause. Your doctor may prescribe medication to increase the blood supply to your penis to strengthen your erection. Certain mechanical aids or penile implants may also be recommended. Hormonal imbalances are treated by supplementation. Medications having sexual side effects may be stopped or altered. Therapy may be recommended for psychological, marital or substance abuse problems, as well as education about different sexual techniques that may be useful to you.