Sexual disorders are rarely discussed, but they do occur and it is important to be aware of them so that we may identify them and seek the appropriate help.
Erectile dysfunction, also called ED, is a common condition affecting many men. As many as thirty million men in the US suffer from erectile dysfunction.
Because erectile dysfunction can be a highly embarrassing subject to discuss, men tend to avoid talking about the condition. However, it can have a profound impact on relationships and self-esteem.
What is Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction, often referred to as ED, is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection during sexual activity. It is a common and treatable condition that affects up to half of all men at some point in their lives.
What are the signs that you have erectile dysfunction?
A man’s ability to become aroused is a complicated process. The process of becoming aroused is complex, involving the brain, hormones, nerves, blood vessels, and muscles. When any element of this system is not working properly, male sexual dysfunction may result.
It is important to remember that your mental health affects your sexual functioning. Stress and other mental health concerns can cause or exacerbate erectile dysfunction. Health concerns may slow your sexual response, but the accompanying anxiety that comes with the slow sexual response can shut things down entirely.
When the following symptoms persist, you may be dealing with erectile dysfunction:
- Inability to erect
- Lose desire for sex
- Inability to maintain erection
- Premature ejaculation
Who are at risk of ED?
It’s important to note that erectile dysfunction can affect anyone—anyone—and it’s not just a problem that affects older men. In fact, some studies have shown that as many as 30% of men under the age of 40 experience problems with sexual function or desire. However, there are certain groups of people who have been shown to be particularly susceptible to erectile dysfunction:
- Men with diabetes
- Men who have experienced a heart attack or stroke
- Men with high blood pressure or high cholesterol
- Men who smoke or drink heavily
- Men who have low levels of testosterone (this can also be caused by aging)
In addition, a study was conducted and found out that people who worked more than 45 hours per week were four times more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction compared to those working less than 20 hours per week.
The researchers also discovered that men who slept less than six hours per night were five times more likely to experience erectile dysfunction compared to those who slept for seven hours or more each day.
Is ED treatable?
Treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED) involves addressing the underlying cause of the condition. There is no one treatment for erectile dysfunction that works for everyone. The causes vary, which means your treatment plan may need to include several components. Your urologist can help you decide on the best course of action.
Improving lifestyle habits
Here are ways you can help improve your lifestyle habits, which will also help with treating ED:
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Exercise regularly.
- Quit smoking and alcohol consumption if you’re currently doing either one of these things regularly (or both).
- Manage stress levels by practicing mindfulness techniques or deep breathing exercises daily—and make sure you get enough sleep every night so that your body has time to repair itself after stressful days at work.
Medication is often one of the first ED treatment options that men turn to. Medications can be used alone or in combination with other treatments.
Talk therapy may be helpful for treating eating disorders caused by psychological issues, such as stress, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or anxiety.
Surgery is a last resort, used only if all other treatment options have been unsuccessful or are poorly tolerated.
Why Talking to Your Partner is Important?
One of the most common causes of relationship issues is ED.
It is important to talk to your partner about this so that they can be there for you and support you through this difficult time.