Erectile dysfunction is a type of low or decreased sexual performance in men, but they are not the same thing.
Although it seems to get the most attention, there are several types of low sexual performance in men other than erectile dysfunction. For example, low libido or lack of sex drive, sexual performance anxiety, and premature ejaculation are all forms of sexual dysfunction in men.
These other types of low sexual performance in men share many of their root causes with ED, and like erectile dysfunction, the good news is, they can all be treated, so that all men can have the kind of sex life they want and deserve.
What Are the Causes of Low Sexual Performance in Men?
Just as there can be many forms of low sexual performance in men, there can be multiple causes for male sexual dysfunction.
Sex is a complicated process involving both physical and emotional processes. Therefore, there can be biological as well as psychological reasons for sexual performance issues.
What defines “good sexual performance” for one man can be very different for another. Some men feel they are less than adequate if they can’t perform multiple times a night every night of the week. For others, once a week or so could be fine.
Basically, sexual performance is defined as being able to perform in such a way that no matter how long you last or how often you have sex, both you and your partner are satisfied. If either of you feels that something is off, or you are feeling anxious or depressed about your ability to perform sexually, then you have sexual performance issues.
A broad range of physical, psychological, interpersonal, and social factors all impact your ability to perform sexually.
Psychological factors that could lead to low or reduced sexual performance include:
- Self-esteem issues
Physical or biological issues that can lead to reduced sexual performance in men could include:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Hormonal imbalances
How Does Your Lifestyle Reduce Your Libido?
In addition to the emotional and biological factors mentioned above that could lead to low sexual performance, there are a number of lifestyle factors that can cause low libido or a reduced sex drive. What you eat, how much you exercise, and even certain medications you are taking could all impact sexual performance.
Specific lifestyle issues that can contribute to lack of libido in men:
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Lack of sleep
- Too little, or even too much exercise
As far as medications go, if you are experiencing trouble in the bedroom, sometimes the first place to look is your medicine cabinet. Several drugs can contribute to erectile dysfunction and or low libido in men. These include:
- Seizure medications
As you may be able to tell from the above list, sometimes people with a medical condition get kind of a “double whammy” on their sex lives. For example, conditions such as high blood pressure and heart diseases can cause sexual issues, as well as the medications (beta-blockers and statins) that are prescribed for them. The same can be said for patients with depression and anxiety and some of the medications they may be prescribed to treat these mental conditions.
Mental Health and Low Sex Drive
As mentioned earlier, emotions and psychological issues certainly play a significant role in your sex life. Stress, anxiety, depression, and other emotional issues can all negatively impact sexual performance, and unfortunately, sometimes, the medications used to treat these conditions only exacerbates the sexual health issues.
Mental issues and sexual issues go hand in hand and can create a kind of vicious cycle with depression and anxiety causing sexual performance problems and then those very sexual health issues leading to increased feelings of anxiety and depression.
How Hormone Imbalance Can Make Your Sex Life a Disaster
Of all the possible causes of sexual dysfunction in men, probably the most important and misunderstood are hormone imbalances. Almost all of the emotional and physical reactions that drive sexual stimulation and sexual performance are hormone-dependent.
When it comes to sex, hormones are like cogs in a machine. Having an imbalance of any of these hormones can throw off the entire sex act.
What Hormones are Responsible for Good Sex?
When it comes to sex drive and sexual performance in men, the most important hormones are testosterone and human growth hormone. However, other hormones such as oxytocin that are related to sexual attraction and feelings of love and romance also play a significant role.
Not exactly hormones, but neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine also play a role in attraction and sexual satisfaction. Both your levels of serotonin and dopamine are impacted by your testosterone level. This is yet another reason why testosterone is probably the most important hormone to sexual performance in men, and why most sexual health issues in men are at least somewhat related to low testosterone levels.
How Can You Prevent Sexual Performance Issues?
How to get rid of or prevent low sexual performance issues in men really depends on the root of the problem.
If your sexual performance issues are mainly based on lifestyle issues, try correcting those behaviors, such as quitting smoking, reducing your consumption of alcohol, eating a healthier diet, and getting more exercise.
If some of the medications you are taking are the problem, ask your doctor about alternatives.
If stress, anxiety, or other mental health issues are the reason for your sexual performance issues, seek counseling.
However, if you are between the ages of 40 and 65 and eat well, live a healthy lifestyle, are in a relatively good emotional place, and are still having performance issues, there is a very good chance that a hormonal imbalance is to blame, and you should see a doctor and have your hormone levels checked.
Hormone Replacement Therapy for Low Sex Performance in Men
There are two hormones that play a quite vital role in sexual performance in men – testosterone and human growth hormone. As important as these hormones are to sex drive and sexual performance in men, the unfortunate biological fact is that both of these hormones decrease with age.
In fact, age-related hormone decline is probably the main contributing factor to sexual performance issues in men over 40. Low testosterone and or age-related growth hormone deficiency have both been linked to:
- Low libido and lack of sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction
- Premature ejaculation
- Sexual performance anxiety
The good news is that most, if not all, of these hormone-related sexual performance issues, can be reduced or eliminated with hormone replacement therapies for men.
Human Growth Hormone Therapy
Human growth hormone, or HGH, is instrumental to sexual function in men. HGH directly impacts your ability to get and maintain an erection, and it also influences the mood states that are critical in sexual attraction and sexual desire. HGH therapy also can improve your sex life by:
- Increasing libido
- Increasing overall strength and stamina
- Improving sleep
- Helping you to lose weight and build muscle
Testosterone Replacement Therapy
Of all of the hormones related to sex drive and sexual performance in men, testosterone is the most important. Testosterone is not only the main force behind sexual desire or libido in men, but it is also 100% necessary for good erectile function.
Almost all men over the age of 45 experiencing erectile dysfunction have low testosterone. Low testosterone directly contributes to ED by minimizing nitric oxide and serotonin production. But age-related testosterone loss also impacts sexual performance by causing obesity, an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes, as well as causing emotional issues such as depression and anxiety.
In fact, testosterone is so intimately linked to sexual function in men that the first benefit that almost all of our patients on testosterone replacement therapy notice is an increased ability to get and sustain spontaneous erections and an improved sex drive.
How to Start?
If you want to improve your sex life with hormone replacement therapy, it really is not that difficult. All you have to do is:
- Get in touch.
- See one of our doctors for physical and lab work.
- If your exam and labs indicate hormonal imbalances to be the root of your sexual health issues, you will be prescribed a program of testosterone therapy and/or HGH injections to suit your symptoms and lifestyle.
Having troubles with low sex performance? Contact our endocrinologists to find the root causes of this condition and get the best treatment.