When it comes to men’s sexual health issues, many fear making an appointment with their doctor. But doctors insist they take their sexual health seriously because it is ultimately linked to mental and physical health.

Unfortunately, in India and many parts of the world, sexual health is stigmatized, resulting in significant delays or the lack of timely and appropriate treatment. “This is a shame, because many male sexual health problems can only be treated and cured if they are detected in time,” says Dr Pramod Krishnappa, urandrologist consultant, NU Hospitals and NU Fertility, Bengaluru.

What is an andrologist?

The doctor explains that an andrologist “is a qualified urologist who deals exclusively with male infertility and men’s sexual health, both in the medical and surgical management of andrological problems”.

He suggests that men seek the help of an andrologist if they notice these four common sexual health issues:

1. Premature ejaculation: If after sexual activity you tend to ejaculate early, you could have premature ejaculation. While this is mostly known as a nuisance for younger men who are just starting to explore sex, it can happen to men of all age groups. In fact, it can serve as a warning sign of erectile dysfunction in older men or an underlying anxiety disorder.

2. Reduced libido (reduced sexual desire): Low libido means that your desire for sex has decreased. The condition is generally linked to low levels of testosterone, a male hormone. Testosterone maintains libido, sperm production, muscles, hair and bones. Low testosterone can affect your body and your mood. Decreased sex drive can also be caused by depression, anxiety, or relationship difficulties. Diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain medications like antidepressants can also contribute.

3. Male infertility: The male factor contributes almost 45 to 50 percent of infertility. The inability to conceive due to a male factor can be due to many reasons such as obstruction, abnormal hormones, varicocele, sexual dysfunction etc. It is ideal to seek early fertility care.

4. Erectile dysfunction: If you have difficulty getting or maintaining an erection that is firm enough to have sex, you may be suffering from erectile dysfunction (ED). It happens when there is not enough blood flow to the penis. In many cases, it can be linked to physical condition, vascular disease, thyroid imbalances, diabetes, and high blood pressure. It can also be caused by psychological conditions, such as anxiety, stress, and depression.

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