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

Vasectomy and prostate cancer

Vasectomy has been linked to higher risk of eventually being diagnosed with prostate cancer, but there is no convincing proof that one actually causes the other. (Locked) More »

Making sex pain-free

Erectile dysfunction (ED) becomes more common in men in middle age, but the range of treatments means most men can find something that works for them. But ED is not the only possible obstacle to men who want to have an active sex life. Other problems, though much less common than ED, include urological infections, chronic pelvic pain syndrome, and Peyronie’s disease. Some of these conditions can be difficult to treat. It can help to consult with a urologist and find out the options. (Locked) More »

Doctors often mum about sex after a heart attack

Most doctors don’t offer counseling about resuming sexual activity after a heart attack, especially to people who are older or female. When doctors do give advice, it often includes restrictions that are not supported by evidence.  (Locked) More »

Pill-free ways to improve your sex life

There are many reasons why sexual activity can diminish in older age. Sexual activity may slow down for men because of an enlarged prostate that results in difficulty attaining and sustaining an erection. Activity may slow for women because of the effects of menopause, such as decreased libido and vaginal dryness. But many sexual problems can be overcome with lifestyle changes such as exercise, smoking cessation, alcohol moderation, weight control, and eating a healthy diet.  (Locked) More »

Matters of the heart: Sex and cardiovascular disease

Sexual activity and sexual function are major quality-of-life issues for both men and women. Frequency and quality of sex is closely tied to a person’s general health, and many of the symptoms of cardiovascular disease conspire to diminish sexual enjoyment. Good communication between partners and with the doctor can help alleviate many common concerns and put a couple back on the road to intimacy. More »

Which drug for erectile dysfunction?

For men with erectile problems, taking one of the four medications available can produce an erection 70% of the time. The drugs vary in how quickly they take effect, how long they act, and their safety issues. The limit on which pill men use is often the cost. Insurance plans may also limit a man to four doses per month. Erectile difficulties often are a warning of underlying artery disease. More »