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Men's Sexual Dysfunction: 6 Common Problems & Solutions

by Lyndsey Harper, MD

Sexual problems in men are common, occurring in as many as 30%. On our journey to sexual health, it is important to understand the types of sexual challenges that men can encounter in order to be able to support our male partners and identify when they might need help as well.

Here are the 6 most common men’s sexual health problems:

Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

If a male partner has trouble maintaining an erection for penis-in-vagina sex on a regular basis, they may be diagnosed with ED. This affects about a third of all men and is more common as men age. There are many causes of ED including decreased blood flow, anxiety, and medication side effects. Because there are multiple causes there are also multiple treatments that include therapy, medications, and procedures.

Premature Ejaculation (PE)

If ejaculation happens earlier than desired (or less than a minute) during sex on a regular basis, it is called premature ejaculation. 1 out of 3 men in the US aged 18-59 has PE. Sometimes PE is related to erectile dysfunction and can be improved by treating ED. Other important treatments include therapy, medications, and behavioral techniques.

Male Orgasmic Disorder

Male Orgasmic Disorder is classified as delayed or absent orgasm and occurs in about 3% of men. Causes include medications, surgery, hormone imbalances, alcohol, and others. Treatments can include behavior change, therapy, and medications.

Peyronie’s Disease

Peyronie’s Disease is caused by scar tissue on the shaft of the penis resulting in curved and even painful erections. It occurs in about 4% of men aged 40-70 and can be treated with medications or procedures depending on the severity.

Low Testosterone (Low T)

When testosterone is below the normal level, men can experience low sex drive, fatigue, irritability, ED, depression, loss of muscle, and loss of body hair. This occurs in about 2% of men and rates are higher in men with diabetes and those who are overweight. Testosterone can be increased naturally with exercise, dietary changes, and better sleep. Alternatively, there are prescription medications available as well.

Low Libido

A decrease in sex drive that interferes with sexual activity or causes distress is termed low libido. This occurs in up to 20% of men and can be caused by aging, long-term relationships, stress, low testosterone, depression, or other sexual issues like erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. Treatments vary based on the cause and can include medications, therapy, and couples therapy.

No Blame Necessary

Just like we blame ourselves for our own sexual problems, many times women blame themselves when their partners have sexual challenges, too. “I’m not attractive” or “My breasts are saggy” are thoughts many women have shared when the sexual problems of their partner are often medical or personal in nature, having nothing to do with the partner. It is important to remember this in order to avoid any blame, shame, or guilt when discussing these common issues with our partners.

Talking to an Expert

If your partner is experiencing sexual concerns, it is important to seek the help of a professional. These professionals include Internal Medicine, Urology, Couples Therapy or Sex Therapy. It is a good idea to have your partner write down the bothersome experiences, how long they have been going on, a list of medications, other things that might be contributing to the issues, and anything other strategies that have been tried in the past. At the visit, expect questions about sexual health and an exam of the part(s) of the body that might be affected.

Supporting Your Partner

Talking about sex with your partner can be extremely uncomfortable. But, that discomfort should not stop us from addressing these important parts of our lives and relationships. If you need help getting the conversation started, see some examples of conversation starters in the Rosy app. Encourage your partner to seek help from their medical provider in order to understand possible causes and treatments. If discussing this with your partner is too difficult, a couples therapist or sex therapist can be extremely helpful. Remember, the best lovers are the best communicators.

Keep Learning

Rosy has entire modules dedicated to learning and understanding men’s sexual dysfunction. Access these modules and more through your personalized Wellness plan in the app. For a limited time, click here to use code MENSHEALTH to redeem a Free 1-Month Silver Membership, giving you a Wellness Plan and unlimited access to the entire library of Erotica.

Lyndsey Harper, MD is the Founder & CEO of Rosy, a Board Certified Ob/Gyn and sex medicine expert.