Erectile dysfunction is a difficult subject to discuss for most men. However, this issue is far more common and easy to treat than many believe — if you seek help for it. Diet, exercise and sleeping patterns can all play a part in causing erectile dysfunction, which is why it’s vital that men are clued up on the facts.
If you’re unsure about the erectile dysfunction causes and treatments, we’ve put together a guide to help you recognise, understand and remedy the condition.
Potential reasons behind erectile dysfunction
The first step to treating erectile dysfunction is to understand what might be causing it. Every man is different and there can be a range of reasons regarding why an individual is suffering from the problem, including:
- Bloodstream: a restricted blood flow can prevent enough blood from reaching the genitals.
- Mindset: mental issues like depression and anxiety can play a part in a person’s sex drive.
- Hormonal imbalances: unequal levels of testosterone, unusual thyroid levels and high prolactin (a hormone that encourages lactation) can affect sexual activity.
- Nervous system: injury to your nerves can prevent brain signals reaching the penis — potentially due to diabetes, multiple sclerosis or other medical problems.
How prevalent is it?
Many men and women are surprised by the prevalence of erectile dysfunction and how common it is in men of all ages. Half of 40-70-year-old men suffer from erectile dysfunction, with 10% of men suffering from it across the globe. Despite it being more common in men over 70 years old, erectile dysfunction can have physical and psychological roots, which means there are no age restrictions on the condition.
Erectile dysfunction and medical guidance
Speaking to your doctor if you suspect you’re suffering from erectile dysfunction is the only way to receive the best course of treatment. Whether you have erectile dysfunction is mainly determined by how often you experience sexual problems. For example; if you are unable to gain an erection more than 50% of the time, a doctor would generally diagnose you with erectile dysfunction.
Understandably, many men hold back from discussing sex-related problems with anyone, whether they be a partner or a medical professional. However, this only means that the potentially curable issue goes untreated. Only around 33% of men suffering from erectile dysfunction ask for medical guidance, and this lack of communication has several ramifications — the most dangerous of which is the chance that you could be missing the opportunity for your doctor to diagnose a more serious, underlying health condition. For example; men suffering from high blood pressure and heart disease sometimes develop erectile dysfunction. This would be a vital indicator that doctors could pick up and act on, if more men sought medical treatment.
Alternative methods to help with erectile dysfunction
But how do you know if the issue is psychological or physical? There’s a test some men have used to determine the cause of their erectile dysfunction: attach a ring of postage stamps to your penis when you go bed. If the ring is broken in the morning, it indicates that your penis is working during the night. This signals that the cause of your sexual problems could be psychological, rather than physical. However, please note that this is not 100% reliable or accurate and seeking expert advice is the only way to diagnose the problem and receive the best treatment.
Medication and erectile dysfunction
Alongside other causes of erectile dysfunction, some men develop the issue as a result of taking certain forms of medication, these include:
The connection between medication and erectile dysfunction has also shown a relationship with diabetes. Research has suggested that men with diabetes tend to suffer from erectile dysfunction up to 15 years earlier than other men, and tend to have a raised chance of developing erectile dysfunction later in life.
Of course, some medication, such as Prelox, can have positive effects on sexual issues, so speak to your doctor about what range of treatments are available to you.
Lifestyle choices and erectile dysfunction
Medication is not necessary for all erectile dysfunction sufferers. In fact, simply leading a more health-conscious lifestyle can significantly reduce a man’s chance of developing erectile dysfunction or potentially ease the condition. This means: exercising more, giving up smoking, reducing alcohol intake, and losing weight. Men who work towards all these lifestyle changes should see a reduction in stress levels and an improvement in the problem without visiting a doctor.
What’s the first step to treating erectile dysfunction?
Although there are things an individual can do to help treat erectile dysfunction, there is no substitute to receiving sound, expert advice for a professional. If you suspect that you have erectile dysfunction, make an appointment with your doctor so that they can establish the cause of the issue and find a treatment.
This condition is treatable, so don’t hesitate from seeking help from your doctor.