Common Causes Of Male Sexual Disorders

January 19, 2022
Sexual Disorders

What is male sexual dysfunction?

Simply speaking, it refers to the problems or struggles men have during sex or when engaging in sexual acts such as masturbation or other forms of self-pleasure. There are various causes that can lead to sexual dysfunction (SD) in males. However, understanding the causes behind it may not only encourage individuals to seek help but realize that there can be effective solutions. The merging of dedicated research and modern technology has allowed doctors to treat and/or improve the symptoms of different types of sexual dysfunction.

It is important to remember that sexual dysfunction can happen before, during, or after sex.

Common male sexual disorders

Erectile dysfunction (ED)
Premature ejaculation (PE)
Other sexual disorders such as low libido, or lack of sexual desire, delayed ejaculation, retrograde ejaculation, or anejaculation.

There are various causes — physiological and/or psychological [Psychological Factors In ED Study]— behind male sexual dysfunction or disorders. Individuals most commonly feel embarrassed or insecure thinking something is “wrong” with them without understanding that there could be valid causes behind their symptoms, or “sex problems.”

Consulting with a professional is the first step to finding relief and an effective solution to sexual dysfunction — through tests and physical examinations, professionals will be able to identify the cause and determine a customized treatment plan.

Physical causes of male sexual disorders

There are various physical causes of male sexual dysfunction. These include:
- Medical conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.
[SD In Diabetes Study]
[Systematic Review: SD & Cardiovascular Diseases]

- Aging [Massachusetts Male Aging Study]
- Medications such as antidepressants and antihypertensives
[Antidepressant-Associated SD Study]
[Antihypertensive Therapy - ED Study]
- Surgeries such as prostatectomy or other genitourinary operations.
- Lifestyle vices
such as smoking and alcoholism.

Psychological causes of male sexual disorders

Psychological conditions can easily impact the brain’s signaling pathways, which can make it harder for a man to perform sexually. The three most common mental health conditions that can affect erectile function are:

Symptoms such as high heart rate, fatigue, disrupted breathing patterns, and fear which are indicative of anxiety can directly affect sexual performance.

Performance anxiety [Retrospective Study Depression & Anxiety With SD] is another subtext of this condition, where men feel insecure about their ability to please their partner, or are insecure about their body image.

1 in 5 people with anxiety disorders experience [Systematic Review: ED with Anxiety Disorders] erectile dysfunction. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), a form of anxiety disorder, can also result in sexual dysfunction.

Symptoms of depression [Major Depression and SD association] can affect sexual desire and function.

Stress can interrupt or disrupt how the brain sends important signals to the penis to allow for additional blood flow which results in an erection.

Furthermore, relationship issues, a history of sexual abuse, and/or sexual inexperience can cause psychological distress that can lead to sexual dysfunction in males. Psychological conditions are very common and can be effectively treated with the guidance of a psychologist.

The stigma associated with male sexual dysfunction stems from the lack of education around the topic, and insensitive pressure put on men to perform sexually as per societal standards. This causes men to not only hide their anxiety and suffer in silence, but also to not seek out treatment that can effectively help an underlying medical condition and improve their symptoms. Furthermore, it causes individuals to self-diagnose based on myths, and self-treat based on medication popularity; this is not only dangerous, but it is simply not worth it.

While breaking the stigma will take community-dedicated effort, educating and sharing accurate information helps individuals comprehend that there is always a “why” behind a problem. The above causes of male sexual disorders are common; you are, in fact, not alone.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Sandip Deshpande.

Sexual health is as important as physical and mental health. In most cases, one consultation can go a long way. Personlised, discreet and judgement free treatment at your fingertips - book an online consultation with one of Allo’s leading experts.

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Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction is defined as the inability to sustain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse. The condition can affect anyone at any age.


Remember - the blood flow (BF), the nerve supply, and the balance of sex hormones - a concern in any of these can lead to Erectile Dysfunction. Erectile Dysfunction can be caused by a physical (a ‘hardware’ problem) or psychological (mental health effects) - mental health can play a huge part.

Fact Check

Did you know that Erectile Dysfunction can be an indication of cardiovascular concerns? Chronic health conditions affecting blood flow can lead to Erectile Dysfunction.

Premature Ejaculation
Premature Ejaculation

If a man lasts less than 2 minutes after penetration (all or most of the time), and/or if it leads to frequent dissatisfaction for him or his partner, he may have Premature Ejaculation.


The causes of Premature Ejaculation include:
(1) Physical Factors: Medical conditions, chronic health conditions, or sexual disorders are some physical causes of Premature Ejaculation.
(2) Psychological Factors: Depression, Anxiety 

Fact Check

Did you know that Erectile Dysfunction can be a cause of Premature Ejaculation?

Premature Ejaculation can lead to other sexual dysfunctions, but that is not a wide-known fact.


Vaginismus is a condition in which the muscles in the vagina tighten up during penetration.


Vaginismus is commonly caused by psychological factors. Women don't have control over the tightening, and it can be uncomfortable. Due to the physical discomfort, the anxiety or fear response gets worse, and this can lead to a cycle of avoidance.

Fact Check

Did you know that there are four types of Vaginismus?

(1) Primary Vaginismus

(2) Secondary Vaginismus

(3) Situational Vaginismus

(4) Global Vaginismus

Low Sexual Desire
Low Sexual Desire

Low sexual desire, commonly referred to as low libido, is a decrease in sex drive.


Individuals that experience low sexual desire due to various causes are impacted physically, mentally, and emotionally by the symptoms the condition can cause.

Fact Check

Like other most common sexual disorders, low sexual desire can be influenced by many aspects, such as hormonal imbalance, increased age, side effects of medications, chronic illnesses, and addictive or compulsive behavior.

Couple Sex Problems
Couple Sex Problems

This would include concerns with infertility and/or conception. Sexual disorders such as Erectile Dysfunction, Premature Ejaculation, and Vaginismus can lead to challenges with pregnancy attempts.


There could be various causes of infertility, such as sexual dysfunctions, chronic illnesses, and mental health conditions leading to low sexual desire and a low sperm count. A sexual health professional should evaluate the causes of failed pregnancy attempts because there can be a variety of causes.

Fact Check
Porn Addiction
Porn Addiction

Porn addiction refers to a person becoming excessively dependent on pornography leading to a disruption in their everyday life. This could include their job, relationships and at times, their day-to-day lifestyle.


The causes behind porn addiction could be:

(1) Negative sexual experiences

(2) Incorrect understanding of porn and its uses

(3) Initially trying to learn about sexual experiences, resulted in dependency

(4) Experiencing mental health disorders such as OCD (an anxiety disorder) or depression

Fact Check

Watching porn isn’t a bad thing, nor should it be associated with any shame. However, compulsive porn watching can have negative effects on your sexual, physical and mental health.

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