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A number of factors or medical conditions can cause sexual dysfunction in men. At the Center for Sexual Function, affiliated with Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, determining the cause of a man’s sexual dysfunction is the first step in developing the best treatment plan possible.

Possible Causes of Male Sexual Dysfunction

Some common causes of sexual dysfunction in men include:

  • Medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol
  • Hormonal problems
  • Side effects of medications
  • Drug abuse
  • Psychological issues such as stress, depression, or anxiety
  • Past trauma, such as sexual abuse
  • Relationship issues

In some cases, more than one cause of sexual dysfunction could be involved. For example, erectile dysfunction (ED) may be caused by psychological or medical conditions, or a combination of both. At Lahey’s Center for Sexual Function, we have found that a high percentage of men with ED have underlying medical causes such as diabetes or high blood pressure, some have some underlying psychological reasons, and others have a combination of both.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions about male sexual dysfunction that physicians at Lahey’s Center for Sexual Function are often asked.

A: Most insurance plans cover consultations, office visits and treatments. Some insurers, however, may not cover certain diagnostic tests and certain treatments. It’s important to check with your individual insurance carrier. Some insurers that cover ED medications, like Viagra (sildenafil) will limit the number of tablets covered per month.

A: Most likely it is stress that is causing this temporary dysfunction. Stress is one of the leading causes of what is called “psychological impotence.” Other triggers include depression, guilt, feelings of inadequacy, anxiety and boredom. Fortunately, this type of sexual dysfunction usually doesn’t last, and full sexual function should return after the stress or other trigger is recognized and managed.

A: Part of your evaluation at the Center for Sexual Function will include the history of changes in your erectile function. Aging changes are common, but we can determine if your sexual difficulties are due to factors other than growing older.

A: There are a number of treatment options for men who have sexual difficulties after prostate cancer treatment. Treatment can include medication, medical devices, or a combination of therapies. Our expert physicians can help determine the best option for you.

A: Men who have trouble with fertility usually have low testosterone levels. A thorough history, physical examination, and laboratory testing can guide us in treating the underlying causes. These steps can increase your chances for fertility and improve your overall health.