Sexual dysfunction tends to become more common with aging because our hormone levels naturally start to decline later in life. Sexual dysfunction can make sex with your partner far less enjoyable and lead to a wide range of other problems such as anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and infertility. Fortunately, there are many safe, effective ways for you to treat sexual dysfunction and get back to enjoying a satisfying and fulfilling sex life regardless of your age.
Having a broad knowledge about sexual dysfunctions, along with their symptoms and causes, can help you determine whether you may need help regulating your hormones. Here’s a breakdown of the different types of sexual dysfunctions and ways to treat them.
Low Sexual Libido
Low sexual libido is the lack of interest in sex, or lack of desire for sex. You may think about sex less often and have no interest in any type of sexual activity, including masturbation.
Many factors can cause a low sex drive, including hormone imbalances, the use of certain medications (such as antidepressants), smoking, fatigue, and stress. Other sexual dysfunctions may also contribute to low sexual libido, including erectile dysfunction or pain during sex.
At RMI, we offer a number of intimate wellness services for men and women to help you get to the root cause of your low sex drive and libido.
The National Institutes of Health reports that erectile dysfunction affects an estimated 30 million men in the United States. Erectile dysfunction is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection.
Low testosterone levels play a part in erectile dysfunction, along with other medical conditions including heart disease, obesity, hypertension, and substance abuse. Stress, depression, and relationship problems may also contribute to erectile dysfunction.
Delayed or Absent Ejaculation
Delayed ejaculation is a condition in which it takes a significantly long time for a man to reach climax and have an ejaculation. With absent ejaculation, a man may not be able to climax or ejaculate at all.
The same factors that cause erectile dysfunction and low sexual libido are usually the cause of delayed ejaculation. That includes low testosterone, stress, and the use of antidepressants and certain other medications. Other potential causes of delayed ejaculation include urinary tract infection, prostate removal, injury to nerves in the pelvis, and neurological diseases.
Premature ejaculation occurs when a man ejaculates far sooner than desired, even when the man tries to delay ejaculation. Men who experience premature ejaculation usually ejaculate within one minute of beginning sexual activity.
Stress and erectile dysfunction are the primary risk factors associated with premature ejaculation, though low testosterone, anxiety, and depression may also contribute to this sexual dysfunction.
Painful intercourse, also known as dyspareunia, is persistent or recurring pain in the genitals during sex, before sex, or after sex. This condition can affect both men and women and occur during penetration or thrusting.
Potential causes of painful intercourse include certain medical conditions (such as pelvic inflammatory disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and endometriosis), infection, and stress. Low estrogen levels in women may cause poor vaginal lubrication, which can also contribute to pain during sex.
How to Treat Sexual Dysfunctions
We can treat sexual dysfunctions naturally with healthy lifestyle behaviors or medical interventions that address the underlying root causes of hormonal imbalances and other factors contributing to these conditions. We can talk more about your lifestyle and available treatment options during your initial consultation.
Exercising and lifting weights can boost testosterone in men and regulate hormone imbalances in men and women. It also reduces stress and anxiety, helps you maintain a healthy weight, and improves your cardiovascular health to ward off problems like hypertension and heart disease. Start exercising every day — even if you only have time to take a brisk walk around your neighborhood.
Refined carbohydrates can zap your energy and disrupt your hormone levels to increase the risk for sexual dysfunction. Low levels of vitamins and minerals can also contribute to fluctuations in testosterone and estrogen and accelerate your body’s aging process. Start eating higher amounts of whole foods like fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, seeds, and low-fat dairy. Consume less processed foods, alcohol, and foods high in sugar and fat.
Poor sleep quality has been linked to reduced testosterone levels in men and hormone imbalances in women. Aim to get a good night’s sleep every night, whether it means going to bed earlier, hanging blackout curtains in your bedroom, or replacing your mattress and bedding with more comfortable alternatives.
Chronic stress can lead to chronically elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Increased cortisol levels can disrupt your testosterone and estrogen levels resulting in major imbalances. Experiencing some stress from time to time is normal, but chronic stress that never goes away accelerates the aging process and may cause problems with your sexual libido. Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as yoga or mindfulness meditation, and work on eliminating stressors from your life in any area possible.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), which I offer through my practice with BodyLogic MD of Greenville, is a type of hormone therapy that contains plant-based hormones as opposed to synthetic hormones. The hormones in BHRT are chemically bioidentical to the hormones that occur naturally in the human body. They have been shown to cause fewer side effects than synthetic hormones found in most conventional hormone therapies.
BHRT can be customized to your body’s needs, giving you the exact hormones to achieve proper cell signaling which results in health and wellness.
We offer BHRT in the form of pellets that are injected under the skin and release hormones into your bloodstream continuously over time. Our BHRT can improve your sexual libido and function, as well as other health problems associated with low testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone levels.
Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy
We also offer platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy at RMI, which uses growth factors from your own blood to stimulate the growth of new, healthy tissue.
In women, PRP therapy (also known as the O-shot) can increase vaginal lubrication, enhance clitoral stimulation, reduce painful intercourse, and increase sex drive. In men, PRP therapy (known as the P-shot) can improve sexual stamina and resolve symptoms of erectile dysfunction.
We offer many other treatments for men and women suffering from sexual dysfunction, including prescription medications, Cell-Matrix MD, and peptide therapy. Our institution also provides radio frequency therapy for vaginal rejuvenation in women and acoustic pressure wave therapy in men.
If you’re not sure which treatment would be most effective at improving your sexual dysfunction, schedule a consultation with us so we can review your medical history, and discuss your available options.