Updated: 2019, Mar 8

What is The Most Common Sexual Problem in Men?

By - Reviewed by CHD Team

In reference to American Society for Reproduction Medicine over 30% of males in the US report some form of sexual problems. Sexual dysfunction is the broad term used in referring to problems in the sexual activity between couples which temporarily or permanently prevent them from getting sexual satisfaction. Common factors that affect sexual function in men result from psychological, physical, and emotional problems due to lifestyle influences. Heart disease, alcoholism, diabetes, and use of drugs can also contribute to sexual dysfunctions. Here are some of the most common sexual problems in men:

Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

Erectile dysfunction refers to a man’s inability to achieve and maintain an erection. It’s common in all men at one point in their lives but it is considered a problem if it occurs for more than 25% during sexual activities. On average, a healthy adult male experience 3 to 5 erections per night that last up to 30 minutes. Fewer or short-lived erections could indicate Erectile dysfunction problem. Erectile dysfunction is caused by high blood pressure, depression, nerve and spinal cord injury, or diabetes. ED can be overcome through lifestyle changes including exercise and healthy diet, smoking cessation and alcohol reduction.
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Ejaculatory Disorders

Common types of ejaculatory disorders include:

Most Common Sexual Problem in Men
  • Premature Ejaculation: Premature ejaculation refers to ejaculation which occurs sooner than expected before or after penetration. This often leaves a couple sexually unsatisfied.
  • Retarded Ejaculation: This happens when one takes too long or fails to reach have an ejaculation.
  • Retrograde Ejaculation: This happens when during an orgasm, the ejaculate is forced back in to the bladder rather than coming out through the urethra and out of the penis.

Premature and retarded ejaculations in some men are due to psychological causes such as lack of attraction to their partner, perception of sex as a sin or past traumatic sexual experiences. Premature ejaculation is the most common type of sexual problems in men caused by anxiety during a sexual intercourse. It can also result from nerve damages or certain drugs. Retrograde ejaculation is common in diabetic males suffering from diabetic neuropathy. In normal persons, retrograde ejaculation may occur following prostrate, bladder or abdominal surgeries.

Retrograde ejaculation refers to a condition when during an orgasm, the ejaculate travels backwards in to the bladder instead of coming out through the head of the penis. This problem, however, doesn’t affect a man’s orgasm but result to little semen or dry orgasm. A retrograde ejaculation has not been proven to have any harmful effects in men but can be linked to some cases of male infertility. Infertility in men with this condition occurs when the semen is little or lacking to provide a medium for sperms to reach an egg.

Causes Of Retrograde Ejaculation

Retrograde Ejaculation

According to a Harvard Health Publication, retrograde ejaculation is caused by a malfunctioning of the sphincter muscle at the bladder entrance. During a normal ejaculation, the sphincter muscle closes off during an orgasm preventing semen from entering the bladder. Improper functioning of the sphincter muscle allows all or some of the semen to move back during an orgasm. According to health experts, nerve damage is the primary cause of retrograde ejaculation. Common causes of nerve damages are:

  • Injury following a surgery such as prostrate surgery, rectal surgery, intestinal surgery, or lower spine surgery. Such surgeries may affect how your bladder sphincter muscle closes during an orgasm.
  • Chronic illnesses including diabetes and multiple sclerosis.
  • Effects from drugs during treatments of other medical conditions including depression.
  • While retrograde ejaculation doesn’t hamper a man’s ability to achieve and maintain an erection, it accounts for 1% of male infertility cases in the US.


Symptoms of retrograde ejaculation are not very conspicuous although absence or very little semen after an ejaculation is a common sign. Men with this kind of condition are diagnosed by sampling of semen in their urine. The urine appears cloudy following a sexual intercourse.


Health experts say that retrograde ejaculation doesn’t require treatment unless if it interferes with one’s fertility. Treatment is based on the actual cause in such cases. Depending on the cause of retrograde ejaculation, medications may work or fail. For example, if you undergo a surgical operation that results to permanent physical changes of your anatomy such as bladder or transurethral surgeries, no medications can help if you develop retrograde ejaculation. On the other hand, drugs may work if retrograde ejaculation results from nerve injury caused by diabetes, multiple sclerosis or certain surgeries. In cases where some medications are the cause of retrograde ejaculation, your physician may suggest alternative treatments or discontinuation of such drugs for some period. Common drugs intended to cure retrograde ejaculation include Imipramine (Tofranil), antihistamines such as Chlorpheniramine and brompheanine, decongestant drugs such as Silfedrine and Sudafed. However, these medications exclusively treat the underlying causes of retrograde ejaculation and not the actual condition.

Retrograde Ejaculation Treatment Complications

Retrograde ejaculation treatment drugs help in keeping the bladder neck muscle closed during an orgasm. Although they are effective in dealing with retrograde ejaculatiion, they have both minor and major side effects. Some may have serious reactions when combined with other medicines taken for treating a chronic illness. Certain drugs used in treating retrograde ejaculation increases your blood pressure and heart rate. They are therefore not recommended for use in patients who have high blood pressure and heart disease.

Inhibited Sexual Desire

Also referred to as loss of libido, inhibited sexual desire refers to decreased interests in engaging in sexual activities. It is usually caused by physical and psychological problems. Health experts link the condition to decreased levels of testosterone hormone. Psychological causes include anxiety and depression. Medical triggers are high blood pressure and diabetes. Other causes include medications such as antidepressants and severed relationships. It is diagnosed through blood tests, sensory testing and nocturnal penile tumescence and rigidity testing.

Treatment Of Sexual Problems In Men

Majority of male sexual dysfunctions are overcome through the treatment of underlying medical/physical or psychological conditions. Other approaches your physician may recommend include:

  • Medical Treatment: If you have a physical problem, your doctor may recommend subscription drugs to treat the underlying condition contributing to sexual problems.
  • Sexual Improvement Drugs: You may be required to take some medicines prior to sexual activities to increase blood flow to the penis. These medications include Cialis, Virectin, and Levitria.
  • Hormones: Should your sexual dysfunction occur from low levels of testosterone, you may be subjected to its replacement therapies. These include injections, patches, pills, or implants.
  • Psychotherapy: This involves counseling with a professional in cases where psychological factors such as anxiety or depression are the causes of sexual dysfunction.
  • Other treatment options include use of mechanical tools and education about sexual behaviors and responses.

Prevention Of Sexual Problems

Most cases of sexual dysfunction are best dealt with by overcoming the underlying causes. These include:

  • Adhere to your physician’s plan for prescription drugs in treating an underlying medical condition.
  • Smoking cessation and limiting alcohol consumption.
  • Learn to deal with emotional or psychological challenges such as stress, anxiety or depression.
  • Reach out for help when the need arise.
  • Talking to your partner about any concerns in your sexual health.

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