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Male Sexual Dysfunction: How Common Is It?


Updated December 20, 2009

Sexual dysfunction is an experience that many men face. Fortunately, we live in a time where these problems are more out in the open. If you are a man having difficulty enjoying sex, you are not alone. In recent years, numerous effective treatments have been developed, and a wide variety of health professionals can work with you so you understand the underlying causes and get effective treatments. If you have an anatomical problem interfering with sex, urologists can work with you. Psychologists and sex therapists can help address psychological causes.

Prevalence of Male Sexual Dysfunction

The exact prevalence of male sexual dysfunction is unknown, but it is believed to be under-reported. Overall, men do not seek care for male sexual dysfunction, meaning that problems like erectile dysfunction (ED) or premature ejaculation are not reported.

Studies have looked at small subsets of men, for example those who under a radical prostatectomy at one or more institutions, performed by one or a group of surgeons. In general, impotence has been associated with an increase in male sexual dysfunction, but many urologists say the exact rate varies depending on who is doing it.

Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine has shown that complete erectile dysfunction rises with age, from 4% for men in their 50s, to 16.7% for men in their 60s, 21.5% in men in their 70s, and 47.5% for men 75 years of age and older.

Types of Male Sexual Dysfunction

The major types are decreased libido, ejaculation disorders, erectile dysfunction, and anorgasmia, or difficulty reaching orgasm.

Where to Go for Help

Consult with your doctor if you are experiencing sexual dysfunction, you should seek medical advice.

Numerous drugs and devices are available that can help men with erectile dysfunction.

Consult with a sex therapist and bring your partner into the discussion.

To find a certified sex therapist in your area, check with the American Association of Sex Counselors, Educators, and Therapists.


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Lindau ST, Schumm LP, Laumann EO, et al. A study of sexuality and health among older adults in the United States. N Engl J Med 2007;357:2732-2733.

Lue TF, Broderick GA. Evaluation and nonsurgical management of erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. In Wein AJ, ed.Campbell-Walsh Urology 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier, 2007, chap. 22.

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