Here’s a coming-of-age lesson for Gen Z males: Sexual performance troubles are not just for the old.
An estimated 34 million males count themselves as members of the Generation Z population –the oldest of whom are now 26. Most of these men probably give more thought to sexual activity than to their sexual health, but make no mistake – sexual health controls sexual activity, even at your young age.
Most guys have learned what intercourse involves in sex education class, but what if something goes wrong? This lack of discussion leads to lack of awareness, and those who do experience problems may feel they have no one to turn to.
Sexual Ailments That Are Ageless
So let’s make it plain: Young men, even men in their 20s, experience sexual health issues that can interfere with sexual performance, reproduction, and their lives. We are here to talk about it.
The following five conditions can strike men of all ages.
- Erectile dysfunction (ED) – Nearly one-quarter of men younger than 40 experience some degree of erectile dysfunction. Past failures during sexual encounters, performance anxiety, and life/relationship stress can contribute to the condition. ED also might signal underlying health concerns. A healthy diet, exercise, and the elimination of tobacco and illicit drugs can help improve the quality of erections. Oral medications also can help rebuild confidence and improve the quality of the sexual experiences, as can a non-invasive, painless procedure called ultrasound wave therapy.
- Low libido/low testosterone (Low T) – Testosterone is an important hormone in men and is responsible for regulating sexual development. Testosterone deficiency, or low testosterone, can contribute to a decreased sex drive and erectile dysfunction, as well as fatigue, depression, and diminishing muscle mass. While low testosterone is more common among older men, young men should not dismiss it. Recent evidence shows roughly 20% of adolescent and young adult males have low testosterone.
- Penile curvature – Penile curvature can be present at birth or develop later in life, a painful condition called Peyronie’s disease. Peyronie’s disease results from the formation of abnormal scar tissue in the penis, which decreases elasticity in an erection. (Patients can sometimes feel a lump in the penis.) Peyronie’s patients might also experience a narrowing or shortening of the penis, decreased sensitivity, and erectile dysfunction. Congenital curvature doesn’t need to be treated unless it becomes bothersome. However, it is important to distinguish the cause of the curvature, because early treatment of Peyronie’s disease can help prevent it from getting worse and potentially improve its symptoms. Treatments include penile extenders, injected medication to break up the scar tissue, and surgeries to straighten the penis.
- Premature ejaculation – While there is no consensus on the definition of premature ejaculation, the American Urological Association defines lifelong premature ejaculation as climaxing within two minutes of sexual penetration. The underlying cause of the condition is not well understood; it generally is thought to be related to performance anxiety, relationship stress, or underlying erectile dysfunction. Behavioral modification, sex therapy, topical lidocaine sprays, and anti-depressants can help relieve the issue.
- Delayed orgasm – Delayed orgasm is defined by the persistent delay of sexual climax, typically less than 25 minutes, or the complete inability to achieve one. Patients living with delayed orgasms can experience significant sexual dissatisfaction and relationship distress. Causes can include certain medications, low testosterone levels, decreased penile sensitivity, and psychosexual dysfunction. Treatments includes sex therapy, oral medications, and correcting the underlying medical condition causing the delay.
Sexual Health Is an Important Part of Overall Health
To most young men, sexual response is a mere reflex. Yet many underlying conditions can disrupt that reflex. This is where sexual health comes in.
Although many of The Urology Group’s patients are older, young men, starting at age 20, who experience any of these conditions should schedule a consultation. We talk about these issues with men if all ages every day, so it doesn’t have to be an embarrassing or uncomfortable conversation. We’re here to help!
Did you know The Urology Group operates a Men’s Sexual Health Clinic? You can learn more about it here.