Common Causes Of Male 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.