How Common Is Sexual Dysfunction in Men?

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Sexual dysfunction is an experience that many men face -- but just how common is sexual dysfunction in men? The exact prevalence of male sexual dysfunction is unknown, but it is believed to be underreported. Overall, men do not seek care for sexual problems, meaning that problems such as erectile dysfunction (ED) or premature ejaculation are not reported.

Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine has shown that complete erectile dysfunction rises with age, from 4 percent for men in their 50s, to 16.7 percent for men in their 60s, 21.5 percent of men in their 70s, and 47.5 percent for men 75 years of age and older.

Types of Male Sexual Dysfunction

The major types of sexual problems in men are reduced or loss of interest in sex, ejaculation disorders, erectile dysfunction (when a man has trouble getting or keeping an erection), low testosterone, and anorgasmia (difficulty reaching orgasm). Stress, illness, medicines, or emotional problems may also be factors.

Occasional problems with sexual function are common. If problems last more than a few months or cause distress for you or your partner, you should see your health care professional.

Fortunately, we live in a time where these problems are more out in the open. In recent years, numerous effective treatments -- from drugs to devices -- have been developed, and a wide variety of health professionals can work with you so you understand the underlying causes and get effective treatments. If you have an anatomical problem interfering with sex, urologists can work with you.

Psychologists and sex therapists can help address psychological causes. The National Institutes of Health also offers numerous clinical trials for men with sexual problems.


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