5 Myths & Facts: Male Sexual Well-Being
Male sexual dysfunction or disorders are stigmatized. Due to the societal pressure and expectations put on men, there are various myths about male sexual disorders that float around the internet. While this may seem harmless, it can result in many men being hesitant to seek treatment, and some end up self-diagnosing and self-treating, which is always unadvisable.
There are different types of male sexual disorders such as erectile dysfunction (ED) and premature ejaculation (PE). Factors, both psychological and physiological need to be considered when the cause behind sexual disorders is determined. However, the many myths around the subject can cause negative effects — so let’s bust a few of them!
Myth: ED is common in older men, and does not affect younger men.
Fact: ED can affect men of any age — anytime after puberty. Aging is not the only contributing factor to ED.
Myth: ED can cause emotional or psychological turmoil, but it has nothing to do with overall health.
Fact: While ED isn’t considered to be dangerous, in some cases it can be an indication of serious health conditions such as heart disease or diabetes mellitus.
Myth: The treatment for a man’s sexual dysfunction has nothing to do with their partner.
Fact: Involving the partner (when necessary or possible) in the treatment process can not only help ease the fear and insecurity of the individual, but can help make the treatment more effective. Sexual dysfunction affects both partners and is often considered to be a “couples problem.”
Myth: Sexual dysfunction happens only because you’re not attracted to your partner.
Fact: Relationship issues can have an impact on sexual performance; however, most commonly there are underlying causes that result in sexual dysfunction. It is also prevalent in those without partners.
Causative factors such as medications, medical conditions, psychological factors such as depression, anxiety, OCD, stress (such as from work, or family concerns), and vices such as drinking and smoking have to be taken into consideration.
Myth: Medications such as penile supplements are the only treatment for ED.
Fact: Since there are both physiological and psychological factors that contribute to ED, lifestyle modifications can help a great deal. This includes maintaining a healthy BMI, quitting smoking and binge drinking, and seeking out help for any mental health conditions. Not to mention, while penile supplements may work for some, it may not be an effective treatment for everyone with ED.
Medically reviewed by Dr. Sandip Deshpande.
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