If you are struggling with a possible sexual problem, the initial step is to consult a health care provider. Gone are the days when anything “sexual” is often kept as a secret that no one must know about.
If you are facing a potential issue with sexual health that can disrupt performance, it is important to act right away. With the increasing awareness of “sexual” topics these days, it is better to be ready and informed.
The doctor will ask about your relationships, partners, past sexual history, possible signs of depression and any concerns that might disrupt with the ability to respond sexually. Although these topics are private, they are part of the assessment procedure to properly evaluate any sexual dysfunction and help restore a satisfying sex life.
During the physical exam, it involves checking for high blood pressure, vascular disease, neurological disorders or evident signs of conditions affecting the penis or testicles. A blood test is done to check for thyroid disease, diabetes, testosterone level, kidney and liver function as well as other hormonal disorders. Furthermore, the doctor will also review the medications and substances you use to track whether sexual dysfunction has a connection with them.
Since men normally have several erections during sleep, the doctor will also ask if whether you awaken with an erection. Oftentimes, men will undergo a test in a sleep laboratory to monitor for erections during sleep. An ultrasound also measures the blood flow inside the pelvis to determine if the blood flow and pressure is enough in the penis to allow proper erection.
Management of Male Sexual Problems
Any underlying physical conditions require treatment to improve sexual health. Medications are also part of treatment to improve the level of testosterone, lessen prolactin, manage high blood pressure or treat diabetes or thyroid disease.
If sexual dysfunction has a to link to certain medications for another health condition, the doctor might suggest an alternative with fewer side effects.
For those who drink alcohol, smoke or use recreational drugs, it is time to stop. The doctor will also recommend a healthy diet and regular exercise. These measures can help slow the buildup of fats that can block the blood vessels.
The treatment options for erectile dysfunction include the following:
- Phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors are the first-line drugs for erectile dysfunction which work by dilating the blood vessels to improve the flow of blood to the penis. This results in increasing frequency and duration of erections. Some of the drugs include sildenafil (Viagra), avanafil and tadalafil.
- Prostaglandin urethral suppositories
- Vacuum inflation device that draws blood into the penis
- Self-injection of drugs directly into the penis
- Penile prostheses, either inflatable or semi-rigid variants
Generally, the symptoms of erectile dysfunction eventually improve. With the wide selection of medications and treatment options available, they can briefly manage the signs of the condition to allow you to engage in satisfying sexual activity.
Erectile dysfunction is a common condition affecting men and has various causes. See a doctor early to rule out underlying causes and start appropriate treatment.
Premature ejaculation is effectively managed by the “squeeze” technique. The method has a high success rate where repetitive practice leads to an improvement with natural control.
Once you feel that an orgasm is approaching, withdraw from your partner to stop the stimulation. You or your partner squeezes the head of the penis gently with the thumb and forefinger to halt the climax. After 20 or 30 seconds, start sexual activity again. You can repeat the process if necessary.
Promescent is a drug that the doctor might prescribe for premature ejaculation. As a topical spray, simply apply it to the penis. It contains lidocaine which lessens sensitivity and allows control over ejaculation.
Other suitable drugs that can delay ejaculation include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as paroxetine, fluoxetine, and sertraline. Remember though that these drugs do not have approval by the FDA to manage premature ejaculation.
Delayed or retarded ejaculation is an uncommon form of ejaculation condition. It remains one of the poorly understood ejaculation problems. If this type of condition is likely, there is difficulty in reaching orgasm.
The treatment for this sexual problem often involves lessening anxiety and learning ways to control the timing of ejaculation during sexual activity. Generally, sensate focus exercises can help where you must suppress penetration until detecting an upcoming ejaculation.
The side effects from certain medications are the usual cause of this form of ejaculation, particularly antidepressants such as SSRIs.
With this type of ejaculation problem, it is the least common. If the condition is likely, the semen moves back into the bladder during an orgasm instead of exiting via the penis. The semen is later flushed out while urinating.
If retrograde ejaculation is an issue you are facing, the doctor can treat it using medications. There are instances where surgical intervention is necessary to allow the valve at the base of the bladder to close.
As a harmless condition, it is a cause for concern only if pregnancy is the objective. In such cases, it is possible to retrieve sperm from the bladder for artificial insemination.
Dealing with environmental and psychological causes of sexual problems
The doctor can help you outline measures to deal with non-medical issues. If there are psychological barriers to sexual function, the doctor might suggest individual psychotherapy, couples therapy with your partner or consulting a sex therapist.
Various techniques and therapies can help including those suffering from previous sexual trauma to become more comfortable with their sexuality. In the same way, if the doctor feels that you need more information about sexual functioning to achieve better satisfaction, a referral to a sex therapist for further advice is suggested.