Sexual Health and Fertility in Men
Because problems with your sexual health and fertility can directly affect your quality of life and your intimate relationships, they often bring a great level of concern and worry to many men. If you have a problem with your sexual health or fertility, remember that you are not alone, and that if you talk with your health care provider, there is a good chance you can get treatment that works.
Impotence and Loss of Libido
About nine percent of American men are thought to have impotence, and it is more common as men age. For example, impotence affects about 10 percent of men in their sixties, 25 percent of men in their seventies, 40 percent of men in their eighties, and more than half of those in their nineties. Many things can cause impotence, including having atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), high blood pressure, diabetes, depression and other emotional or psychological illnesses, pelvic surgery, kidney failure, multiple sclerosis, stroke, some types of epilepsy, and alcoholism. Some men who take medicines for heart disease or drugs that can affect the central nervous system, such as hormonal medicines or heroin and cocaine also are at risk for impotence.
Loss of libido (reduced or lost interest in sex) also can occur at different points in a man's life. It can happen for many reasons, including stress in our daily lives, from illnesses, medications, psychiatric problems, and reduced levels of male sex hormones. Also, uneven sexual desire, at times, between you and your partner are normal and inevitable in long-term relationships. It is how you handle these challenges that makes the difference.
The good news is that there are ways you can overcome both impotence and loss of libido with new drugs and therapies, or with counseling. If you have a problem with either of these, talk with your health care provider about treatments that could help you. Don't be embarrassed. Being honest and getting help now can help you relax and enjoy an even better relationship with your partner.
If you or your partner has a problem with sexual function, libido or
fertility, don't delay seeing your health care provider for help. There is a
good chance that you can get treatment for your problems.
Last Editorial Review: 11/16/2004
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