Top secret: Men’s sexual health issues we don’t talk about

August 20, 2021

In 1998, Pfizer became a household name — not for a vaccine — but for a little blue pill. This made the topic of erectile dysfunction very popular in health, media and entertainment.

Since then, the focus on this topic — with the occasional discussion about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) — makes it seem like this is all that matters for men’s sexual health.

But what about some of the other important sexual health issues for men? Let’s clear the air and have a chat about:

  • premature ejaculation
  • infertility
  • penis problems

Premature ejaculation

It might surprise you to learn that premature ejaculation is probably the most common male sexual problem. Between 20% and 30% of men (of all ages) experience it.

Ejaculation and orgasm are not the same thing. You can think of it like this:

  • Ejaculation is what happens in the pelvis at climax. It’s the process of expelling semen from the penis.
  • Orgasm is what happens in the mind at climax.  It’s the feeling of intense pleasure and euphoria that occurs in the brain.

Usually, these events occur together – but not always. And problems with ejaculation (premature, delayed or absent) can be distressing. 

Premature ejaculation is defined as:

  • ejaculation sooner than desired by the man or his partner (less than 2 minutes after penetration on most occasions)
  • premature ejaculation that troubles the man and his partner
  • poor control over ejaculation

It’s usually caused by:

  • sexual inexperience
  • anxiety
  • other psychologic factors

Premature ejaculation is treatable and there are treatments available. These may help increase your time to ejaculation, improve your control over ejaculation and reduce your distress over how fast you ejaculate.

Medical treatments include:

  • topical anaesthetics
  • sex therapy
  • tricyclic antidepressants
  • selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors

The GPs at InstantScripts® are here to help you if you experience premature ejaculation. You can request a telehealth consult or script for your condition.

To speak with an InstantScripts GP:

Request Consultation

To request a script:

Find Your Medication

Male infertility

For men, the quantity and quality of your sperm impact how easy it will be for you to conceive. If your sperm count is low, or if the sperm are of a poor quality, it will be difficult to impregnate your partner.

Around 1 in 20 men have low numbers of sperm, causing infertility. About 1 in 100 men have no sperm at all.

The good news is that one in eight infertile men can be treated. Couples can become pregnant following treatment.

It may be worth consulting a doctor if:

  • you’ve been trying to impregnate your partner without success for 12 months or more
  • you’ve been having sex at least twice a week
  • you’re aware of factors that could have an impact on your chances of conceiving a baby

Penis problems

It’s important to take good care of your genitals. Keep an out for the following issues, which could be signs of more serious problems.

  • Blood in your semen is usually not serious. It could, however, be a sign of prostate cancer or an STI.
  • Penis irritation (itchiness or discomfort) may occur due to any number of medical conditions. Eczema, fungal infections, psoriasis and some STIs could all cause penis irritation.
  • Penis swelling, injury or inflammation can be very distressing. See a doctor if you’re concerned about any damage to your penis.
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