Men are often stereotyped as highly sexual creatures, but they struggle with sexual performance issues more than you’d think. According to a study conducted by the National Library of Medicine, an estimated 31% of men struggle with sexual dysfunction. Sexual health can often be neglected because it’s a sensitive topic most men struggling with would not voluntarily share. While these problems may not be life-threatening, they can lead to psychological issues such as depression and anxiety if not addressed. Some sexual issues may even suggest other medical problems, so it’s important to take them seriously and know what to look out for.

What is sexual dysfunction and what are the symptoms?

In relation to men, sexual dysfunction means several different things, but basically it’s the inability to have a satisfactory sexual relationship. Generally speaking, it refers to erection issues. Maybe you can’t get aroused at all (loss of libido), or you cannot get full erection, or you can get an erection but can’t keep it. These are all common examples/symptoms of sexual dysfunction in men, and all of them can cause feelings of performance inadequacy. Another common problem with men is premature ejaculation.

Any erectile dissatisfaction or arousal dysfunction can severely affect a man’s quality of life. While erectile dysfunction can cause mental health issues, it can also be the result of them. Can stress cause a man to not get hard? The answer is absolutely. Sexual dysfunction in men becomes more common with age, but it’s not unique to older men.

Erectile dysfunction at 18, or any young age, for example, is likely going to be due to stress or anxiety. Erection issues at 50, 60, or 70, on the other hand, is likely going to be caused by aging. Either way, no matter when it starts occuring for you, it’s important to see a doctor for male sexual problems. Most problems are very treatable, but they should be caught early so they don’t affect mental health.

When you see a doctor, they will perform an evaluation of your medical, sexual, and psychological history and then evaluate you physically. It’s really important during this evaluation to be completely honest with your answers no matter how embarrassing it may feel to share.

The causes of sexual dysfunction in men could be purely physical, like issues with the heart and it’s blood flow to the body. Obesity and heavy smoking can also contribute. Some physical issues could be short term, like if you come down with a bad flu. Many men wonder, can a fever cause erectile dysfunction? Any many cases, absolutely it can. When your overall health is feeling poor, it’s a lot more difficult to get your body in the mood.

If you’re having trouble staying erect, the causes could also be purely mental, like depression, anxiety, stress, work, or relationship problems. The physician’s evaluation will help rule out possible causes and more narrowly determine the root of the issue. It’s also possible there may be a mix of both physical and mental issues contributing, as these things are often woven together. Stress and anxiety can lower testosterone levels, which in turn lowers sex drive, so if you’re caught in that loop, the only way out is seeing someone about it.


If you are a man struggling with sexual dysfunction, it’s important to keep in mind it’s very common and there is nothing to be ashamed about. Whether you are finding sexual stimulation more difficult as you age, or there’s been a drastic change in your libido, seeing a physician is a must. It could be a simple solution or a clue to a more overarching serious medical condition. Research proves struggles with sexual relationships directly contributes to mental health and overall quality of life, so see a doctor as soon as you can.

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