Although millions of men experience sexual problems related to physical health or performance annually in the United States, a significantly lower number of these individuals take an active role in finding solutions for their ailments. Whatever the reasoning may be, be it insecurity over perceived masculinity or an inability to communicate with doctors or partners due to embarrassment, the fact remains that a large number of afflicted individuals do not receive the treatments they need to remedy their problems.
That being said, before undertaking an exploration of sexual health and performance problems, it may be worthwhile to spend time learning about the actual mechanics of the body’s reproductive system, a complex and sophisticated series of functions and processes designed to produce offspring from a male sperm and female egg.
What is the Reproductive System?
The reproductive system is broadly defined as a network of sex organs that collaborate in order to provide the necessary functionality and resources for reproduction. In humans, the reproductive system differs greatly between men and women, in large part due to their vastly differing roles in the process of creating a child. The penis is the most commonly identifiable sex organ in men, while the vagina is the primary sex organ in women. During intercourse, the penis is inserted into the vagina, and, following orgasms and subsequent ejaculation, the male sperm, immersed in seminal fluid, attempts to fertilize the female egg, if present. Depending upon the female’s ovulation cycle, there may or may not be an egg released from the ovaries, rendering fertilization impossible. Although a variety of individual parameters influence this process, ranging from sperm motility to the acidity levels of the female vagina, the basic mechanics of sex are designed to facilitate the union of sperm and egg.
The Role of Men in Reproduction
Unlike women, whose ovulation and menstrual cycle dictate their levels of fertility at any given time, men are capable of engaging in successful reproduction at any point. The primary role of the male in the sexual reproduction process is to release sperm into the vagina, which will then travel towards the egg in an effort to achieve a union. As healthy, normally functioning male sexual organs produce millions of sperm every day, the average male is capable of achieving orgasm and subsequent ejaculation multiple times daily.
Performance and Reproductive Health
A man’s reproductive health can significantly affect his ability to “perform” during sex. Sexual performance is often defined as an individual’s ability to engage in normal, healthy sexual intercourse with a partner. Common male sexual health problems include impotency (also referred to as erectile dysfunction), delayed ejaculation and premature ejaculations. Unlike the female reproductive system, the majority of health problems associated with male sexual health do not typically result in pain during intercourse. Because of this, many men experiencing orgasm problems such as those listed previously are still capable of engaging in intercourse.
That being said, impotency can cause significant problems with sexual performance, as the inability to achieve an erection can render vaginal penetration all but impossible. Although men suffering from impotency may not be able to engage in sex, this should not be confused with a decrease* in sexual arousal. Impotency is not directly related to libido, and an inability to achieve genital arousal does not mean that other signs of arousal will not manifest themselves.
How Does Fertility Complete the Reproductive Cycle?
Although a man may be physically optimized for engaging in sex, this does not necessarily mean that the individual’s sperm are capable of successfully fertilizing a female egg. Following arousal, orgasm and ejaculation, the male sperm are directly responsible for reaching the released egg. A number of factors determine the viability of a male’s seminal fluid, including the volume of semen release, the quantity of sperm released in the seminal fluid during ejaculation and the morphology, or physical shape, of the sperm.
Remedies and Supplements Available
For men experiencing problems related to sexual health and performance problems, doctors can recommend a range of medicinal and natural treatment remedies depending upon your individual preferences, ranging from herbal supplements, pharmaceutical products designed to counteract the symptoms of impotence and physical tools, such as vacuum pumps. As with almost all health problems, it is recommended for individuals interested in sexual health treatments to consult with their doctor.