No one wants to talk about sexual dysfunction — but it’s far, far more common than you might expect. More than half of men over the age of 40 have experienced some sort of sexual dysfunction, and the numbers rise as you grow older.
When you’re dealing with sexual dysfunction of any sort, you can feel as if your life has gotten off-track. Your quality of life overall can suffer, and you can become uncomfortable around the people you should the most relaxed with.
Male sexual dysfunction basically refers to any problem — physical or psychological — that affects your sexual life in a negative way. can show up in many ways. Some men experience erectile dysfunction, which others deal with everything from loss of libido to premature ejaculation. Often there are clear physical issues underlying the specific type of sexual dysfunction — physical issues that won’t get resolved until you seek medical attention.
But no matter the type of sexual dysfunction, men typically find it hard to talk about. Many men wait years before they discuss the problem with their doctor. There’s no need to shy away from those discussions, though. At a men’s health clinic, you’ll find people who have these conversations all the time and know all the ins and outs of whatever you might be dealing with. At Texas Men’s Health Group, we’re ready to have the tough conversation that can get you started back on the road to sexual health and comfort. Let’s take a look at the major types of sexual dysfunction that most men deal with, then turn our attention to how those issues can be treated.
Why It’s Important to Pay Attention to Sexual Dysfunction
Sexual dysfunction is an indicator that something is going on with your body that demands attention. This is especially true if the issue you’re dealing with has been going on for several months. Your erectile dysfunction or loss of libido may be a sign of a hormonal imbalance, anything from testosterone deficiency to diabetes. Sexual issues may also point to cardiovascular problems, prostate cancer, nerve damage, or urinary conditions.
In addition, various mental health issues often make themselves known through sexual dysfunction of various sorts. You may have undiagnosed depression or anxiety. Getting a proper diagnosis can be the first step toward improving your overall well-being. Check out some of the most common forms of sexual dysfunction so you can see whether it’s time to make a doctor’s appointment.
About 30 million men deal with erectile dysfunction on a regular basis in the United States. Men with erectile dysfunction struggle to get an erection that’s firm enough for sex. Yes, erectile dysfunction is most common in men 50 and over, but it can occur at any age.
Erectile dysfunction can occur due to a variety of causes. Because an erection is dependent on healthy blood flow, diseases that affect blood flow, including high blood pressure, diabetes, arterial stenosis (hardening of the arteries) and other vascular issues can all be involved with erectile dysfunction. Some nerve disorders can also be implicated in the condition, as can injuries to the penis. In addition, habits such as smoking and excessive drinking can be involved.
Erectile dysfunction is also often tied to psychological factors, including stress, depression, and anxiety. When this occurs, many men experience what seems like an endless loop, with stress causing erectile dysfunction, which then creates even more stress and frustration.
Finally, many men experience erectile dysfunction as a side effect of low testosterone levels. When testosterone deficiency is at the root of erectile dysfunction, the solution can be simple indeed.
Loss of Libido
Have you ever found yourself wondering why you just don’t care about sex any more? That condition is known as loss of libido, or a lack of sexual desire. While loss of libido can occur due to relationship difficulties or psychological issues, very often it’s the direct result of low testosterone levels. Various medical conditions, including diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, high blood pressure, and kidney disease can also be involved. Certain antidepressants or other medications may also play a role.
The first line of defense whenever you’re facing loss of libido is to get your testosterone levels tested. Supplemental testosterone can turn this symptom of sexual dysfunction around quickly.
You may have seen the TV ads comparing a penis to a bent carrot. Those are trying to show off (as delicately as possible) the primary symptom of Peyronie’s disease: a penis bent at an abnormal angle. This odd angle occurs when scar tissue builds up over time inside the penis. If not treated, it can lead to embarrassment during sexual encounters as well as painful erections. Various lumps and bumps on the penis can also be a sign of the disease. While treatments do exist for Peyronie’s disease, fortunately, it’s relatively rare.
Premature and delayed ejaculation happen to many men. The occurrence of ejaculation problems once in a while is probably nothing much to be concerned about. However, either condition can indicate a more serious medical condition.
Premature ejaculation can indicate the presence of nerve damage to the spinal cord, including nerve damage caused by diabetes. It’s also often associated with anxiety disorders, and it can be a warning sign of more serious erectile dysfunction in the future. In addition, premature ejaculation may involve problems with the way serotonin, a brain chemical that affects mood, breaks down in the body.
Delayed ejaculation, on the other hand, may be a sign of chronic medical conditions that include thyroid problems, alcoholism and nerve damage. It can also be caused by some medication or by psychological factors and relationship problems. Your doctor may recommend treatment by a sex therapist — but the first step for any recurring ejaculation problems is a visit to your doctor.
Low Testosterone Levels
Low testosterone levels are at the root of many types of sexual dysfunction, often including erectile dysfunction. Men start to lose their natural testosterone beginning in their 30s, with the average man’s testosterone levels decreasing 1% per year. About 40% of U.S. men suffer from testosterone deficiency, and it shows up in their daily lives in ways they might not expect.
It’s easy to see the relationship between testosterone deficiency and trouble in the bedroom or low sex drive. But low testosterone levels also result in fatigue, depression, mood swings, weight gain, sleep issues, low energy levels, emotional instability, belly fat, and loss of mental focus.
The good news is that low testosterone levels are easy to treat. Testosterone replacement therapy is a safe, proven treatment for testosterone deficiency, one which has helped thousands of men feel young and vigorous again. A basic blood test is the start to finding out what’s wrong and determining whether testosterone replacement therapy is the right solution. While some men find it embarrassing to discuss their testosterone levels at their family doctor’s office, it’s an easy discussion to have at a men’s health clinic. What if you could learn that there’s a medical reason for not just any sexual dysfunction you’re experiencing but for other symptoms that may seem unrelated to your sex life? Getting your testosterone levels tested is a good first start to solving the mystery you’re trying to unravel.
Treatment for Sexual Dysfunction
Treating your sexual dysfunction is almost certainly something you can’t do on your own. If you’ve tried to psych yourself into wanting sex or getting an erection, you’re probably already aware of that. But with the right doctor’s help, you can find the right treatment for your sexual dysfunction and start living the life you want to have again.
Possibly your sexual dysfunction is related to a medical condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure. In this case, seeking help not only answers your questions about your sex life — it could also help get your overall health back in the right direction. A medical doctor can also pinpoint whether you’re dealing with nerve damage or a cardiovascular disorder.
And if you’re dealing with stress, depression, anxiety, or trauma, a trip to a therapist or other mental health professional could make all the difference. All too often sexual dysfunction is related to problems in your relationship, worries about your sexual performance, or unresolved sexual trauma in your past. A mental health professional can help you deal with all of these as well as stress, anxiety, and depression. Your medical doctor or mental health professional can also help you get on the right path if it turns out that alcohol abuse, smoking, or drug abuse is contributing to your sexual dysfunction.
In many, many cases, though, the root cause of sexual dysfunction in many of its most well-known forms is low testosterone levels. If this is the case, hormone replacement therapy will be at the heart of your treatment. Many men find it almost miraculous to see how their bodies respond once they start receiving supplemental testosterone. They feel stronger and more vital, their sex drive returns to normal, and their mental fog clears up. Testosterone replacement therapy can even help with symptoms that you weren’t aware you had. For example, many men suffer from osteoporosis, which causes fragile bones, as a result of low testosterone, without having a clue that they’re at high risk for bone fractures.
Testosterone replacement therapy is well-tested and found to be effective, and it’s available in a variety of delivery systems to suit your lifestyle. You may choose between testosterone injections, testosterone pellets, testosterone patches, and testosterone gels, depending on how often you want to self-administer treatment. Your men’s health clinic doctor can help you understand the pros and cons of each delivery system so you make the choice that’s right for you.
Seeking Guidance About Sexual Dysfunction
As you get older, it’s increasingly likely that you’ll face issues regarding your sexual performance or drive. That gradual loss of testosterone hits all men, and for many, it results in measurable testosterone deficiency. By visiting a men’s health clinic such as TMHG, you can take the first steps toward sorting out normal changes that are a result of age from medical issues that need to be addressed.
At TMHG, we have a long history of helping men understand hormonal issues, including those surrounding low testosterone levels. If you’re a man in Texas who wants to enjoy a life of health and vigor as you grow older, we are ready to help you with treatment for what’s going on with your body. Whether you’re seeking testosterone replacement therapy, anti-aging treatments via human growth hormone peptide therapy, or weight loss through today’s most cutting-edge new treatments, we are the experts you’ve been looking for. We offer the treatment you’ve been looking for in a safe, confidential environment. Contact us today to see how we can help you move past any sexual dysfunction and into the health and well-being you deserve.