Male Sexual Function

Treatment for Conditions Affecting Sexual Health

It’s not uncommon for men to experience some type of sexual function problem that interferes with a satisfying sex life, including erectile dysfunction and ejaculation issues. The specialists at the Lahey provide evaluation and treatment to help you regain full sexual function.

Our physicians work closely with the urology experts at our Institute for Urology, to offer diagnosis and treatment for conditions that affect your sexual health and fertility.

Common problems that affect sexual function include:

  • Ejaculation problems—such as premature ejaculation, slow ejaculation, inability to ejaculate or retrograde (backward) ejaculation.
  • Erectile dysfunction (ED)—also called impotence, is the most common sex problem for men. If you have ED, you are unable to achieve or keep an erection to have satisfying sexual intercourse.
  • Klinefelter syndrome—often not diagnosed until adulthood, it affects your physical development, including maturation of the testicles.
  • Low testosterone—also called male hypogonadism, when your body does not produce enough of the hormone testosterone, it can affect your sex drive.
  • Peyronie’s disease (curvature of the penis)—when scar tissue develops inside the penis, it may cause a curved penis and painful erections.
  • Reduced libido—also known as decreased sexual desire, reduced libido causes low sex drive or low sexual arousal.

Male Infertility and Hormone Care

In addition to problems that affect sexual function, our specialists offer treatment for infertility and hormone issues, including:
  • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia—This is a genetic condition, in which the body’s adrenal glands do not make correct amounts of certain hormones. It can affect both men and women and can cause infertility.
  • Gynecomastia (enlarged breasts in men)—an imbalance of hormones can cause swelling of your breast tissue.
  • Hyperprolactinemia (elevated prolactin levels)—a rise in prolactin levels that causes breast milk production and may lower your testosterone levels.
  • Male infertility—This is the inability to father a child (impregnate a woman).
Causes & Symptoms
Common Symptoms of Male Sexual Function Problems

If you have a sexual health problem, your symptoms may include:

  • Anxiety during or before sexual contact
  • Ejaculation difficulties, including premature ejaculation
  • Inability to get or maintain an erection
  • Infertility
  • Low sexual desire
Common Causes of Male Sexual Function Problems

Several factors can cause these symptoms, or they may be the result of another medical condition. The specialists at Lahey's Center for Sexual and Reproductive Health can help determine the cause of your problem and develop a treatment plan to return you to full sexual health.

Problems with sexual function in men may be caused by:

  • Anxiety, depression, stress or other mental health problems
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol
  • Past trauma, such as sexual abuse
  • Relationship issues
  • Side effects of medications

In some cases, there could be more than one cause affecting your sexual function. For example, erectile dysfunction (ED) may be caused by psychological or medical conditions or a combination of both.

Evaluation & Treatment
You Can Enjoy a Healthy Sex Life Again

Whether you are experiencing decreased sexual desire, problems with ejaculation or erectile dysfunction (ED), the team of specialists at the Center for Sexual and Reproductive Health can help.

We work together with experts in urology and other fields to determine any underlying medical cause for your symptoms. We also take time to talk with you about any other potential factors that could be affecting your sexual health. Ultimately, our goal is to find the right treatment to get you back to a full and satisfying sex life.

What To Expect at Your First Appointment

During your initial evaluation, our goal is to determine the type of sexual dysfunction you are experiencing and to investigate the possible causes. Your first appointment includes:

  • A detailed medical history, including a list of current medications
  • Blood test, to check hormone levels (in some cases)
  • Conversation about your sexual problems and symptoms
  • Physical examination
Male Sexual Function Treatment Options

The first step to returning you to sexual function is treating any existing medical condition that may be causing your symptoms. In addition to treatment for underlying conditions, other treatment to increase your sexual function may include:

  • Hormone treatment—if your body is deficient in certain hormones, such as testosterone, it can cause symptoms that affect your sexual function. Hormone therapy can help balance your levels and reduce your symptoms.
  • Medical devices—such as a vacuum pump, constriction rings and penile implants may help return your sexual function.
  • Medications—prescription drugs such as Viagra (aildenafil), Levitra (vardenafil) and Cialis (tadalafil) may help return your sexual function.
  • Medication adjustment—if you are taking medication for another condition, it may be causing symptoms that affect your sexual function. Adjusting your dosages or trying a different medication may help.
  • Sex therapy—if your symptoms are related to emotional factors such as relationship difficulties or anxiety-related issues, counseling with a licensed sex therapist can help.