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Causes of ED include:. Low libido means your desire or interest in sex has decreased. The condition is often linked with low levels of the male hormone testosterone.

The Psychology of Sex: Sexual Disorders & Sex Issues

Testosterone maintains sex drive, sperm production, muscle, hair, and bone. Low testosterone can affect your body and mood. Reduced sexual desire may also be caused by depression, anxiety, or relationship difficulties. Diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain medications like antidepressants may also contribute to a low libido. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.

Sexual Dysfunction in Males The most common problems related to sexual dysfunction in men include ejaculation disorders, erectile dysfunction, and inhibited sexual desire.

These and other sexual dysfunction problems can be corrected by treating the underlying physical or psychological causes. What is sexual dysfunction in males?

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The main types of male sexual dysfunction are: Physical causes of overall sexual dysfunction may be: Low testosterone levels Prescription drugs antidepressants , high blood pressure medicine Blood vessel disorders such as atherosclerosis hardening of the arteries and high blood pressure Stroke or nerve damage from diabetes or surgery Smoking Alcoholism and drug abuse Psychological causes might include: Concern about sexual performance Marital or relationship problems Depression , feelings of guilt Effects of past sexual trauma Work-related stress and anxiety How does sexual dysfunction affect men?

Ejaculation disorders Problems with ejaculation are: Premature ejaculation PE — ejaculation that occurs before or too soon after penetration Inhibited or delayed ejaculation — ejaculation does not happen or takes a very long time Retrograde ejaculation — at orgasm, the ejaculate is forced back into the bladder rather than through the end of the penis The exact cause of premature ejaculation PE is not known.

Your GP may be able to prescribe one of the oral drugs tablets that can help erectile dysfunction ED , known as phosphodiesterase pronounced phos- pho- di- es- ter- ase inhibitors PDE5i. Do not buy drugs online, as they may be fakes! As people grow older, they are more likely to experience disabling conditions and illnesses that can affect their sex lives.

These may have physical effects in the body and psychological effects in the mind. Painful physical problems like arthritis may make it difficult to find a comfortable position for having sex. Diabetes may also cause erectile difficulties. Cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease or a previous stroke may make you nervous about having sex.

One partner may feel it is inappropriate to still have sexual desire if their partner is ill. While for many carers, the sheer stress and exhaustion of the role may reduce their desire. Lifestyle can also affect how you see yourself.


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Retirement and children leaving home is viewed by some as an end of a chapter in their lives, whereas for others it can mean the freeing up of time for each other. Lifestyle factors can also play a part. Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, recreational drug use, poor diet and a lack of exercise can all contribute to sexual problems. If you find that illness is preventing you from enjoying sex with your partner, it is sensible to see your GP.

We all need to be loved and wanted, and these needs do not lessen over time. However, you may find you are looking for a different kind of relationship than when you were younger.

Sex and aging – Men’s issues

You may just require companionship and someone to share your favourite TV programmes with. If you are looking to rekindle your love life you may feel awkward and embarrassed, not knowing where or how to start. These are perfectly normal feelings, particularly if your partner had a long illness, or you have feelings of guilt and betrayal. It will help to talk to someone about those feelings.

Symptoms of Sexual Disorders

When sexuality is affected, it is often a matter of learning to adapt and adjust rather than accepting an end to all forms of sexual expression. The only person who will find this embarrassing is you. You have nothing to be afraid of and everything to gain by seeking help. Discussing sex later in life can sometimes be difficult, but there is no reason to think that because you are older, you cannot use all the services that are available to younger people. Sex is not abnormal after middle age and for many individuals it does not stop just because they are no longer able to conceive a child.

Sexual Dysfunction in Males

Older age should not prevent you from seeking or receiving help from whatever source is most suitable for you. Together they will identify factors that trigger the problems and design a specific treatment programme to resolve or reduce their impact. Sex therapy is considered highly effective in addressing the main causes and contributing factors of sexual difficulties. And it helps people to develop healthier attitudes towards sex, improve sexual intimacy, become more confident sexually, and improve communication within the relationship.

Sex therapy can also be used in combination with other forms of treatment.


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Your GP or another health professional on the NHS may be able to refer you for sex therapy depending on area , or you can contact a therapist directly and pay privately. It is important to make sure that they are qualified and are registered with an appropriate professional body. Sex is likely to change as you age but it does not necessarily need to stop — seek help if you need it.

The Sexual Advice Association is here to help. We cannot give individual medical advice, but we can answer your questions on any sexual problems and put you in touch with local specialist practitioners. We also have a number of factsheets and booklets on sexual problems and related issues for men and women that can be downloaded from our website or requested.

Please feel free to email us or phone our Helpline our contact details are at the bottom of this page.