Men's Sexual Health

Sex is an important part of life. For many men, thinking about sex starts early, often before puberty, and lasts until their final days on earth.

On one level, sex is just another hormone-driven bodily function designed to perpetuate the species. On another, it's a pleasurable activity. It's also an activity that can help cement the bonds between two people.

Sexual health refers to a state of well-being that lets a man fully participate in and enjoy sexual activity. A range of physical, psychological, interpersonal, and social factors influence a man's sexual health.

Optimal male sexual health includes sexual desire (libido) and the ability to get and sustain an erection (erectile function). Although physiology can affect both the desire for sex and the ability to have sex, mental health and emotional factors also play important roles.

Male sexual health isn't merely the absence of disease. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to get an erection or to maintain it long enough for satisfying sexual activity. Many things can cause ED, including stress, depression, relationship issues, abnormally low testosterone, damage from urological surgery, and even cholesterol-clogged arteries. In fact, it is often an early warning sign for heart disease. ED can be treated with pills, injections into the penis, or devices.  Men can also experience difficulties related to ejaculation, including premature ejaculation, delayed ejaculation, or the inability to experience orgasm upon ejaculation (anorgasmia).

 

Male sexual health also covers the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases and the assessment and treatment of male infertility.

Men's Sexual Health Articles

Blood pressure drugs and ED: What you need to know

One reason erectile dysfunction (ED) becomes more common with age is that older men are more likely to be on medication, and ED is often a side effect of many common drugs. In fact, it's been estimated that 25% of all ED is caused by medication. Several drugs can produce erectile difficulties, but blood pressure drugs are near the top. ED is an occasional side effect of BP drugs like thiazide diuretics, loop diuretics, and beta-blockers, all of which can decrease blood flow to the penis and make it difficult to get an erection. However, other BP drugs, such as alpha-blockers, ACE inhibitors, and angioten-sin-receptor blockers, rarely cause ED. More »

All-natural tips to improve your sex life

If erectile dysfunction has you down, and you don't want to rely on drugs, these five natural solutions, as found in the Harvard Special Health Report Erectile Dysfunction: How medication, lifestyle changes, and other therapies can help you conquer this vexing problem, may reverse your ED and improve your sex life. They are easy to adopt and enrich your health in other ways, too. 1. Begin walking. Just 30 minutes of walking a day was linked with a 41% drop in risk for ED, according to one Harvard study, while a separate trial reported that moderate exercise can help restore sexual performance in obese, middle-aged men with ED. More »

Kegels: Not for women only

Kegel exercises to strengthen pelvic floor muscles have long been seen as just for women, but they may be a way for many older men to address some common unpleasant issues, such as urinary leakage, bowel trouble, and even erection problems. A physical therapist can evaluate a man’s needs, design an individual program, and show him how to do the exercises correctly so he can then perform them at home.  More »

New approach identifies returning prostate cancer

Researchers have mapped patterns of prostate cancer recurrence following surgery, which may help doctors find the best way to treat men whose cancer has returned. About 30% of men who have prostate cancer surgery will have a recurrence, according to the study in the Journal of Urology.  More »

Treating low testosterone levels

Testosterone is the hormone that gives men their manliness. Produced by the testicles, it is responsible for male characteristics like a deep voice, muscular build, and facial hair. Testosterone also fosters the production of red blood cells, boosts mood, keeps bones strong, and aids thinking ability. Testosterone levels peak by early adulthood and drop as you age—about 1% to 2% a year beginning in the 40s.  As men reach their 50s and beyond, this may lead to signs and symptoms, such as impotence or changes in sexual desire, depression or anxiety, reduced muscle mass, less energy, weight gain, anemia, and hot flashes. While falling testosterone levels are a normal part of aging, certain conditions can hasten the decline. These include: More »

Men: talk with your doctor about resuming sex after a heart attack

A majority of men do not talk about resuming their sex life after a heart attack, which may lead to sexual problems like lack of interest and erectile difficulties. Researchers say that before being discharged from the hospital, men should expect to have a conversation with their physician about when it’s okay to resume all regular activities, including sex. If the topic does not come up, men should take the initiative. More »

Thinking about sex after a heart attack

After a heart attack, most people want to get back to their everyday life as quickly as possible. While driving, exercising, and returning to work are routinely discussed in the doctor’s office, the struggle many heart attack survivors encounter when trying to resume their sex lives is rarely mentioned. However, the people who do have this conversation are more often able to return to sexual activity than those who don’t. (Locked) More »

Meditation may ease anxiety from active surveillance

A mindfulness-based stress reduction program (MBSR) can help control anxiety among men who follow active surveillance for prostate cancer. The wait-and-see approach can make men feel so uneasy about their condition that they opt for treatment with radiation therapy or surgery when it is unnecessary. MBSR not only eases anxiety levels, but also inspires men to be more proactive about their health and adopt lifestyle changes like a proper diet and exercise. More »