Your health, stress, relationship concerns and other issues can lead to problems during sex. Medical professionals call this sexual dysfunction. It is estimated that around 31% of men and 43% of women have some sort of difficulty during sexual dysfunction throughout their life and many types of sexual problems can be treated or otherwise improved.
Common Sexual Problems
Sexual dysfunction in men:
- Lack of sexual desire
- Inability to get or keep an erection
- Orgasms that happen too slowly or too quickly
- Inability to have orgasms
Other possible issues of sexual dysfunction are:
- Deformities of your penis. One type is Peyronie’s disease, in which a buildup of collagen or scar tissue causes the penis to bend.
- Retrograde ejaculation, when semen is forced back into your bladder instead of out of your penis. This may happen in men with nerve damage from diabetes, or after bladder or prostate surgery.
Sex and Ageing
Some changes in your desire for sex and sexual performance are common as you age. For example, you may need more foreplay before sex or more stimulation to get and keep an erection. It also may take longer to get an erection after an orgasm. It is worth understanding that drastic changes can be a sign of a bigger problem so it is important to talk to your doctor if this happens.
Your overall health and any medical conditions you have also affect your sex life. Conditions that can affect your sexual ability or desire for sex include:
- Heart and vascular (blood vessel) disease
- Hormone imbalances
- Nervous system disorders like multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
Sudden changes in your sex drive or ability to have sex can be a sign you have a medical condition. Tell your doctor if you notice any of them.Medications, such as depression and high blood pressure drugs, can also affect sex. If you notice problems after you start a new medicine, ask your doctor how to manage the side effects or if they can switch your prescription if you find yourself suffering from sexual dysfunction.Smoking, drinking a lot of alcohol, and other unhealthy habits also may hurt your sexual function. On the flip side, regular exercise, weight loss, and stress management could improve your sex life.
You might feel nervous or shy about talking to your doctor about your sexual problems. But opening up about your concerns is the first step to getting help.Your doctor will ask questions about what is happening and you can talk about your sexual dysfunction issues. They might do a physical exam and order other tests (such as a blood test) to figure out whether an underlying health concern is the cause of your sexual difficulties.
If a medical condition such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, or depression is affecting your sex life, your doctor may need to address it first.
Your doctor might suggest changing unhealthy habits, such as smoking or drinking too much alcohol, and encourage you to exercise. These things can improve your overall health as well as your ability to have sex.Other treatment options include:
- Counselling to help you manage stress, anxiety, fear, or guilt, or to address depression or other mental health concerns
- Medications for erection problems that you take as a pill, such as Viagra
- Testosterone replacement therapy and other hormone treatments for imbalances
- Medical devices that help you get an erection
- Penis implant surgery
- Surgery to correct penis deformities
- Penile traction therapy, in which you wear a device on your penis to correct deformities
This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.