Sex is an important part of life. It involves physical, psychological and emotional state of humankind. Its fulfillment defines & influences overall physiological, psychological, and social well-being of an individual.
Optimal sexual health state enables man to engage and enjoy sexual activity. Any alteration in this state hints a sexual health problem. About 31% of men have some sort of discomfort in their sexual lives.
Some of the disturbances leading to sexual dysfunction include:
- Lack of sexual desire
- Inability to initiate or sustain erection
- Premature ejaculation
- Diminish overall satisfaction
Disturbed sexual health may have much wider ramifications as it hampers personal confidence, distorts relationship with partner, and could affect social behaviors as well.
Sexual Health & Aging:
In men, as age progresses, sexual performance could be affected due to decrease in testosterone levels.
Systemic and Metabolic Causes Affect Sexual Health
Conditions that could hamper sexual health include:
- Heart and vascular (blood vessel) disease
- High blood pressure
- Neuropsychiatric illness like depression, anxiety etc.
- Medications, such as anti-depressants and certain cardiovascular drugs, can also affect adversely men’s sex health.
Some organic issues encountered less frequently include:
- Deformities of penis, example is Peyronie’s disease, wherein buildup of collagen or scar tissue causes penis to bend.
Habits Hamper Sexual Health
Excess consumption of alcohol and smoking could lead to disturbed sexual health.
Mental & emotional Issues
Stress, anxiety, depression, and various emotional experiences could influence sexual health. Worrying about performance during intimacy, associated guilt, interpersonal friction with your partner, and past traumatic sexual experience can negatively affect in achieving intimacy.
Looking After Sexual Health – Take Charge of Yourself
Lifestyle: Changing unhealthy habits, such as quitting smoking or drinking too much alcohol, regular exercises may improve your overall and sexual health.
Erectile dysfunction could be temporarily treated through drugs like phosphodiesterase inhibitors (PDEi) pills, interventional procedures like injections into the penis, or devices.
PDE-i pills increase blood flow to the male sexual organs, but do not increase sexual desire or mood, are not recommended for use in cardiac patients & often associated with headache. It is noteworthy that most of these agents have no direct action on sexual desires and mainly work peripherally.
Dietary Intervention & Nutritional supplements:
Salmon, tuna, avocados, onion, garlic and olive oil and vitamin B rich foods such as red meat, egg, and potassium-rich fruits such as banana can help increase blood flow stimulation and help boost sexual performance.
Certain clinically proven & safe natural supplements may help to improve intimacy & lead to more satisfied sexual experiences
- For Libido & sex drive: Panax ginseng, Tribulus Terrestris, Epimedium sagittatum and Ginkgo biloba
- For improving erection: Studies indicate that Tribulus Terrestris, is also effective in diabetic men with erectile dysfunction
- For improving tactical sensation on penile skin: Avena sativa increases genital sensations
- For improving stamina & endurance: Paullinia cupana
- Testosterone activity support: Zinc
- For reduces stress, & elevating mood: Caffeine, Paullinia cupana
Sexual well-being is a very pervasive but certainly not a specific organ system issue. Rather, it is a holistic issue and needs a multi-pronged approach. This includes understanding and reflecting on the underlying causes, and consider integrative modalities inclusive of lifestyle changes, dietary interventions, and necessary supplementation support.