How sexual dysfunction may affect other aspects of life
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How sexual dysfunction may affect other aspects of life

Sexual dysfunctions are common health problems, which are a concern for 20–40% of the adult population in Europe (1). There are a variety of sexual difficulties of different sexual identities. However, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, hypoactive sexual desire disorder and anorgasmia are the most common ones in men.

These problems may have a crucial impact on patient’s quality of life (2). In addition to that, the aforementioned difficulties and dysfunctions can be a predictor of cardiovascular and other microvascular diseases, including diabetes mellitus, kidney diseases, depression and alcoholism (3).

On the other hand, significant life changes may cause sexual problems as well, such as at the beginning of sexual experience with a new partner, after marriage or the birth of a child, or around menopause. Sexual difficulties are also more common when there are health conditions or other stresses because sexuality is affected by the way people feel in the rest of their lives (3)

The erect penis has always been a symbol of a man’s virility and sexual prowess. Approximately one in five men over the age of 40 years have erectile dysfunction (4). Erectile dysfunction has a major impact on the psychological status of the patients. With erections inextricably linked to masculinity and potency, erectile problems are associated with feelings of shame, inadequacy and depression. Even when erectile dysfunction is a result of medical issues or medication, the associated feelings need to be addressed (5).

Premature ejaculation is one of the most common sexual problems in the male population, which affects approximately 20–40% of men (6). This sexual dysfunction affects the quality of life severely by causing distress for one or both partners, and these men feel inadequate.

Hypoactive sexual desire disorder is another type of sexual dysfunction (7). Sexual interest can be affected by psychological status, medical conditions, medications and hormonal changes. However, more commonly, it is affected by relationship issues. If sexual difficulties are only treated symptomatically with medications or behavioural techniques, patients may later present with a hypoactive sexual desire. Thus, underlying personal or relationship issues should be resolved for the long term treatment (5).

Omer Onur Cakir
MD, Msc, FEBU, FECSM
Urologist and Andrologist University College London Hospital London-UK

HFTHQ 20-23
ESSM
Content written by ESSM View all ESSM contents

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