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

Straight talk about your sex life

A recent survey found that even though many older adults enjoy an active sex life, few talk about their sexual health with their doctor or other health care provider. It’s important to have an open line of communication because in general, sexuality changes over time, and many older men encounter problems that can interfere with performance, such as erectile dysfunction or problems with arousal, energy, and stamina. (Locked) More »

Men and urinary tract infections

Although urinary tract infections are more common in women, men can get them, too. They can protect against recurring infections by drinking plenty of water, using the bathroom when they need rather than trying to hold it, and practicing safe sex. (Locked) More »

Can cycling cause erectile dysfunction?

Cycling is a great low-impact exercise, which is ideal for many older men. But can putting in miles in the saddle cause temporary erectile difficulties? It depends. According to a Harvard Special Health Report, Erectile Dysfunction: How medication, lifestyle changes, and other therapies can help you conquer this vexing problem, the Massachusetts Male Aging Study found that in certain circumstances, bike riding can damage nerves and compress arteries in the penis, which may lead to erectile problems. The risk was highest among men who cycled more than three hours a week. The reason cycling may cause ED is that the seat puts constant pressure on the perineum—the area between the genitals and anus. This pressure can harm nerves and temporarily slow blood flow, which causes tingling or numbness in the penis and, eventually, ED. More »

Should you take a daily erectile dysfunction pill?

Tadalafil (Cialis) is one of the most popular erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs. Its major appeal? The drug comes in low-dose versions that can be taken daily. This means you can have sex at any time, rather than needing to take a pill from time to time as needed like other ED brands. The starting dose for daily-use Cialis is 2.5 milligrams (mg). If that doesn't work, you can increase your daily dose up to 5 mg. But is this the right approach for you—or are you better off with traditional ED drugs like Viagra, Levitra, or even the nondaily version of Cialis? If you are contemplating Cialis for daily use, consider these questions and then discuss it with your doctor: More »

Some drugs may cause your erectile dysfunction

One reason erectile dysfunction becomes more common with age is that older men are more likely to be on some kind of medication. In fact, an estimated 25% of all ED is a side effect of drugs, according to the Harvard Special Health Report Erectile Dysfunction: How medication, lifestyle changes, and other therapies can help you conquer this vexing problem. The most common types of medication that are linked to ED include antidepressants, anti-ulcer drugs, tranquilizers, and diuretics—which help the body get rid of sodium and water, and are used to treat heart failure, liver failure, and certain kidney disorders. More »

Talk with your doctor about erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction can be tough to experience. Talking about erectile dysfunction can be even tougher. However, if you have difficulty getting or sustaining erections, you should speak with your doctor. Of course, such as a conversation is never easy, even for the most confident men. Here are three tips that may give you the assistance you need to discuss ED with your doctor, as found in the Harvard Special Health Report Erectile Dysfunction: How medication, lifestyle changes, and other therapies can help you conquer this vexing problem. 1. Find the words that are right for you.  Say some of these "icebreakers" to yourself, choose the one that feels most natural, and practice it aloud to yourself or with your partner before your appointment. Rehearsing just a little might boost your confidence and comfort level so you can follow through with your doctor: More »

Recharge your sexual energy

Men’s sexual drive can stay high late in life, but often their energy for sex gradually diminishes because of low testosterone levels, erectile dysfunction, poor sleep, or lack of exercise. Addressing these issues with their doctor and communicating with their partner to find mutual satisfaction can lead to increased sexual energy and intimacy. More »

Sexually transmitted disease? At my age?

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are on the rise in people of all ages. There were more than two million reported cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis in 2016, with significant increases in cases among middle-aged and older adults. For example, among people ages 55 to 64, reports of chlamydia cases nearly doubled between 2012 and 2016, from 4,950 to 9,321. The most common types of STDs include genital herpes, human papillomavirus, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and human immunodeficiency virus. (Locked) More »