Which Treatment Options Exist for Sexual Dysfunction in Men?
Male sexual dysfunctions range from an inability to achieve and maintain an erection to not desiring intercourse at all and having problems ejaculating semen. Depending on the nature of the dysfunction and its cause, psychological therapy, medications, surgery or a combination of those interventions may be needed. It’s important to consider each treatment method in relation to different mental and physical issues that lead to sexual performance issue among men.
What Are the Major Forms of Male Sexual Dysfunction?
Men can suffer from low libido, erectile dysfunction (ED) and ejaculation disorders. Each can result from mechanical, hormonal and emotional problems.
Can Counseling Help Resolve Sexual Dysfunction in Men?
Depression is a leading cause of sexual dysfunction in men, as is taking medications to relieve the psychological condition. Other emotional problems that can make men avoid sexual intercourse or become unable to perform in the bedroom include stress, unacknowledged resentments against a partner and what are best described as “hang-ups.” Consider this description of a potential cause of delayed ejaculation provided on Medline Plus, the National Library of Medicine’s patient information website: “[a] religious background that makes the person view sex as sinful.”
The page goes on to explain that working with a sex therapist and a trusted partner can often yield mental breakthroughs and techniques that allow a man to ejaculate in a reasonable amount of time. Experts from the Cleveland Clinic echo this advice while also explaining that “education about sex, and sexual behaviors and responses may help a man overcome his anxieties about sexual function. Open dialogue with your partner about your needs and concerns also helps to overcome many barriers to a healthy sex life.”
Do Medications Exist to Help Men with Sexual Dysfunction?
Low libido — lack of sexual desire — and erectile dysfunction are both highly amenable to drug treatment. Testosterone levels naturally fall as men age, and this produces diminished sex drive. Too little testosterone can lead to ED, as well as to loss of energy and muscle tone. Replacing testosterone with roll-on gels, skin patches, injections and tablets can help.
No one who watches sports or news on television can avoid advertisements for the ED drugs Viagra, Levitra and Cialis. Each increases a man’s ability to become and stay erect until orgasm. The tablets are not effective or safe for everyone, however. Men with severe angina or very weak hearts and those who already take medications called nitrates for those conditions must avoid ED drugs.
Discontinuing or lowering doses of antidepressants, high blood pressure drugs, chemotherapy drugs and several other medications that affect blood flow and hormone levels can also improve sexual function. Any treatment for any male sexual dysfunction should begin with in-depth discussions with your doctor and pharmacist.
Is Surgery Ever Necessary to Treat Male Sexual Dysfunction?
When medications are not an option, according to The Merck Manual, surgery can be an option. A penile implant allows a man with ED to perform sexually at any time. Some forms of ED and ejection disorders can also be resolved via surgery to repair damage to nerves and blood vessels. And, while it is a nonsurgical intervention, using a penis pump can help many men become erect and ejaculate with high degrees of stimulation.