Now that I have your attention, please read on. Men’s sexual health and wellbeing encapsulates three broad areas; it is about the physical (male reproductive system; our anatomy); mental (psychological wellbeing); and our social/spiritual wellbeing (effective communication, knowing ourselves, our identity).
What are some of the components that make up men’s sexual health and wellbeing?
- What is sex?
- What is the prostate and its problems such as enlargement and cancer?
- Erectile dysfunction.
- Infertility and testosterone deficiency.
- Testicular cancer.
- Sexually transmitted infections.
Now, because I’m a bloke I want to talk about a couple of bits that aren’t discussed very often. The first point is sexual dysfunction in men. Because us blokes don’t talk about sexual health in a holistic way there is a lot of myth and secrecy about what presents as normal sexual function. Quite often men boast about their sex life and/or the lack of it, but this is different from our overall sexual health. What is normal sexual health function?
There is some recent research which is a great guide in what may be normal regarding sexual function. Whether we want to believe it or not this is linked to age. It goes like this:
- In our 50’s – 50% of men are sexually dysfunctional.
- In our 60’s – 60% of men are sexually dysfunctional.
- In our 70’s – 70% of men are sexually dysfunctional.
- In our 80’s – 80% of men are sexually dysfunctional.
It is a normal part of ageing, and us blokes need to talk about it a lot more so it’s not a great shock to us when it starts to happen. Is there more to life than sex and what is sex? It is a biological activity that all living creatures partake in, both to propagate the species and for enjoyment. The latter presents the biggest problem with human sex and that is males and females having different sexual needs (which can be challenging for some men). We can’t have a positive sexual relationship without connection and intimacy.
To maintain a positive connection, the social/spiritual aspects of our relationship require constant attention. This connection then allows everything else to fall into place.
Some important points to remember in relation to men’s sexual health are:
- talking to your partner and your doctor is essential;
- suffering sexual dysfunction increases in men over 50 years of age;
- sexual dysfunction can be a sign of other diseases such as diabetes or heart problems;
- quite often the problem is a combination of physical, mental and social/spiritual wellbeing;
- try and maintain a health and fitness program.
Only by getting men to talk about sexual health will we be able to encourage men to open up and seek treatment, be able to give constructive positive support and ultimately improve that area of a man’s life that is vital for overall health and wellbeing. If necessary, book in and see a GP.
By The Regional Men’s Health Initiative