Weak male or­gasm may be sign of un­der­ly­ing problems

Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - Health - Send your queries to suzigod­son@mac.com Sex ad­vice with Suzi God­son

I’m a 35-year-old sin­gle man. I have sex­ual re­la­tion­ships with women — but I feel that my or­gasms are quite weak. There isn’t very much sen­sa­tion when I cli­max. Is there a way of mak­ing them stronger? >> Weak or­gasm and loss of sen­sa­tion are com­mon com­plaints in el­derly men, but you are only 35, so you need to talk to a doc­tor be­cause it could in­di­cate un­der­ly­ing problems. More likely, how­ever, at your age, is that it is life­style re­lated. Be­ing very over­weight or obese is par­tic­u­larly as­so­ci­ated with this is­sue. Smok­ing, drink­ing too much, and not ex­er­cis­ing enough are also known to af­fect erec­tile func­tion and or­gasm.

Sit­ting at a desk all day also doesn’t help. Data from the Mas­sachusetts Male Age­ing Study sug­gests that men who have jobs that in­volve sit­ting for long pe­ri­ods are more at risk of sex­ual dif­fi­cul­ties than men who have jobs that al­low them to be more ac­tive.

In con­trast, the same study found that in­creased phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity im­proves sex­ual func­tion. The pre­cise rea­son for this is un­known. It could be be­cause ac­tiv- im­proves vas­cu­lar tone and cell con­di­tion, or it may in­crease the re­lease of im­por­tant neu­ro­trans­mit­ters.

Weak or­gasm or loss of sen­sa­tion can also in­di­cate un­der­ly­ing cir­cu­la­tory problems. Men who have clogged ar­ter­ies in their heart, for ex­am­ple, of­ten have the same prob­lem with the ar­ter­ies that sup­ply blood to the pe­nis.

Loss of sen­sa­tion is more com­monly as­so­ci­ated with nerve dam­age. The nerves that re­lay in­for­ma­tion from the brain to the pelvis play a cru­cial part in sen­sa­tion, or­gasm and ejac­u­la­tion, and any dam­age along the line can cause sex­ual dif­fi­cul­ties.

Sim­i­larly, the pu­den­dal nerve, one of the main nerves in the pelvis, is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant for sen­sa­tion and sex­ual func­tion; any form of in­jury or trauma to the per­ineum and the pe­nis can dam­age it.

I don’t know how long you have had this prob­lem for, but I know that men are no­to­ri­ously bad at go­ing the doc­tor and are par­tic­u­larly ret­i­cent about get­ting help with mat­ters of a sex­ual na­ture. If the idea of talk­ing to your doc­tor about some­thing so per­sonal fills you with dread book an ap­point­ment with a pri­vate urol­o­gist with­out a GP re­fer­ral. It’s im­por­tant be­cause the symp­toms you de­scribe can be an early warn­ing sign of much more se­ri­ous pro­bity lems with the heart, prostate, or ner­vous sys­tem. They can also be a marker for type 2 di­a­betes-re­lated nerve dam­age.

Your symp­toms could also fit a con­di­tion known as “or­gas­mic an­he­do­nia”, where sex­ual stim­u­la­tion oc­curs, but there is a dis­con­nect between the sen­sa­tion and the part of the brain that recog­nises that sen­sa­tion as plea­sur­able. Ex­perts be­lieve that this oc­curs as a re­sult of dis­rup­tion to neu­ro­chem­i­cals in the brain, par­tic­u­larly dopamine, but it may also be linked to psy­cho­log­i­cal is­sues such as de­pres­sion. The problems you de­scribe can also be a side-ef­fect of an­tide­pres­sants.

Fi­nally, you don’t say any­thing about your mas­tur­ba­tory habits. It is true that when you get used to in­duc­ing or­gasm and ejac­u­la­tion in a very par­tic­u­lar way on your own, it be­comes in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult to translate those sen­sa­tions, or their ab­sence, into sat­is­fac­tory part­nered sex. If this res­onates with you it may be a good idea to knock the self-ser­vice on the head un­til you have seen a doc­tor.

“Men who have jobs that in­volve sit­ting for long pe­ri­ods are more at risk of sex­ual dif­fi­cul­ties than men who have jobs that al­low them to be more ac­tive

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