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Friday, January 1, 2016

Beyond ED: Are You Aware of These Sex Spoilers?

Beyond ED: Are You Aware of These Sex Spoilers?

Erectile dysfunction isn't the only sexual health issue for men. But the good news is that there's help — whether your issue is common or not.

While erectile dysfunction affects about 30 million American men, it is, unfortunately, just one of the types of male sexual dysfunction. "When you include more common sexual dysfunctions, like premature ejaculation and occasional erectile dysfunction, just about every man has had a sexual health issue at some time," points out Drogo Montague, MD, professor of surgery and urology at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine. What else can go wrong? Read on and find it.


If your libido is normal and you can achieve an erection, but you can't have an orgasm even with adequate stimulation, you be suffering from anorgasmia. Studies suggest that between 2 and 5 percent of men experience this sexual dysfunction at some time; and it’s more common in gay men than in straight men. The cause is more likely to be psychological than physical, although nerve damage can be a factor. Treatment of anorgasmia will depend on the root cause.

Erectile Dysfunction

If you have trouble getting or sustaining an erection that is firm enough to have sexual intercourse, you could have ED. Men are much more likely to have ED as they age — before age 60, it affects only about 4 percent of men. "Thirty years ago, men did not complain about ED, and if they did, they were told it was psychological,” says John S. Wheeler, MD, professor of urology at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Ill. “The good news is that almost all men can now be helped with medications or other treatments."

Exertional Headache

If you’re able to have sex without any problems but get a severe headache shortly afterward, you could have exertional headache syndrome. According to a Norwegian study, exertional headaches affect up to 12 percent of the population. You might notice you also get them following other types of, nonsexual, physical exertion; and if you get migraines, you’re more at risk for this type of headache. In rare cases, exertional headaches can be caused by brain abnormalities, and your doctor might order a special brain imaging study. But in most cases no cause is ever identified, and an anti-inflammatory type of pain reliever is prescribed.

Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder

If you are an otherwise healthy guy, but you just don’t have a desire for sex, you could be suffering from hypoactive sexual desire disorder. "The more common name for this disorder is decreased libido,” says Dr. Montague. “It’s fairly common, and it can have many causes." Up to 15 percent of men may experience this problem. The root could be physical or psychological and treatments range from male hormone therapy to psychological counseling.


If your sex drive is low and you also have a depressed mood, trouble concentrating, and loss of muscle mass, you could have hypogonadism. "Primary hypogonadism is caused by failure of the testicles to produce enough testosterone,” explains Montague. “Secondary hypogonadism is caused by failure of the pituitary gland in the brain to stimulate hormone production. In other words, the problem could be in the thermostat or in the furnace." Treatment may include testosterone replacement therapy through an injection, patch or gel.

Low T

Symptoms of low testosterone, simply called low T, are the same as those for hypogonadism; in fact, hypogonadism and low T are different names for the same disorder. There is a natural decline in men's testosterone that starts after age 30. "Testosterone levels peak at about age 18,” explains Dr. Wheeler. “Even though levels decline as men age, most men make enough testosterone to avoid any sexual dysfunction.” If you’re concerned, your doctor can check your testosterone level with a blood test. “Testosterone replacement therapy could be considered in men who have really low levels and severely reduced libido," adds Wheeler.

Peyronie's Disease

If your penis develops a painful bend when you get an erection, you could have Peyronie's disease This disease is a rare cause of sexual dysfunction, affecting about 3 percent of men between age 30 and 80. You’ll likely notice scar tissue forming on the top or bottom of the penis that feels like a hard lump. "Injections of a drug called verapamil directly into the hard lesions of the penis reverse Peyronie's disease in about 80 to 90 percent of cases,” says Wheeler. “If injections do not work, surgery can be done."

Premature Ejaculation

If you have normal libido and maintain an erection, but you ejaculate before or very soon after starting intercourse, you could be experiencing premature ejaculation. "This is probably the number one sexual health complaint of men,” says Montague. “It is most common in younger men who have little experience in having sex with a partner." But it may also be an early warning for ED in older men, who find they need to rush to climax before their erection starts to give out, he adds. Most men can learn to control premature ejaculation without treatment.

Post Orgasmic Illness Syndrome

If you have a normal sexual experience, but you get a flu-like illness after sex that lasts for several days, you could have a condition called post orgasmic illness syndrome or POIS. "This condition is rare — it may be more common in women and is very uncommon in men,” says Montague. “The cause is not well understood." A small study of 45 Dutch men published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine suggests that a sperm allergy may be to blame and that allergy treatment may offer some relief.

Retrograde Ejaculation

If you have normal libido, a normal erection, and a normal orgasm, but no ejaculation, you could have retrograde or inhibited ejaculation. "Retrograde ejaculation occurs when semen goes back into the bladder, instead of coming out through the penis," explains Montague. This is usually caused by partial prostate surgery or a disease that affects the nerves supplying the prostate, such as diabetes. "Absence of ejaculation is usually seen in men who have had their prostate completely removed," he adds. As long as you’re not trying to have children, you don’t need to be treated for this condition.

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