Male Sexual Dysfunction Vs Erectile Dysfunction

Confusing sexual dysfunction and erectile dysfunction is easy. Some people use the two terms interchangeably. However, they are entirely different – as you are just about to find out.

Male sexual dysfunction is a problem that occurs at any stage of the sexual response cycle. It prevents a couple from enjoying sexual satisfaction. The traditional sexual response cycle comprises of excitement, plateau, climaxing and finally resolution. The excitement phase is made up of sexual desire and arousal. Male sexual dysfunction is quite common affecting about 31 percent of men. Irrespective of this prevalence, not many men are willing to talk about it. However, men need to be aware of the existence of the various treatment options of sexual dysfunction which can only benefit them if they accept to speak out and seek help whenever they have sexual health and performance problems.

Male sexual dysfunction is divided into various categories namely:

  • Desire disorders that are characterized by the absence of interest in engaging in sex.
  • Arousal disorders that entail difficulties or inabilities to become physically excited or aroused during a sexual encounter
  • Pain disorders whereby a person experiences pain during intercourse
  • Orgasm disorders – this is where a person experiences delay climaxing, or it does not happen at all.

Common causes of male sexual dysfunction include diabetes, heart disease, sexual trauma, psychological problems, alcohol and substance abuse, as well as particular medications (such as some antidepressants or anticoagulants).

The signs and symptoms of male sexual dysfunction include:

  • Premature ejaculation – a guy is unable to control the timing of semen release. In many instances, you ejaculate within the first 60 seconds of sexual stimulation or penetration during sex.
  • Delayed ejaculation – it is said to happen when a man cannot ejaculate even amidst sufficient sexual stimulation. It is also referred to as retarded ejaculation.
  • The absence of interest in sex. It is a situation where a man’s sex drive takes a dip. He hardly gets sexual thoughts.
  • Painful intercourse which is mostly witnessed when a man is suffering from Peyronie's disease – popularly known as penile curvature.
  • The inability to obtain or retain an erection for as long as it is needed during sexual activity (whether sexual intercourse or masturbation). It is referred to as erectile dysfunction or impotence.

As you can see, erectile dysfunction is one of the signs and symptoms of the occurrence of male sexual dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction becomes more common as one gets older but it also affects men aged below 40. Associating erectile dysfunction with the natural process of aging is unwise. Some of the primary causes of erectile dysfunction are poor nutrition, underlying medical problems and their corresponding treatments (such as diabetes, high cholesterol, cardiac disease, and hypertension), stress and depression and poor lifestyle habits (excessive alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking).

The occurrence of erectile dysfunction should not be taken lightly as it may signal the existence of an undiagnosed health condition such as diabetes, cardiac problems or high blood pressure. It may also be an indication of clogged blood vessels. Failure to see a doctor means that these health issues remain untreated – something that puts your life at risk.

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