Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a condition where a man cannot get or maintain an erection to achieve satisfactory sexual intercourse. Although this is a common issue among men of all ages, many people shy away from speaking about it or seeking help because of its sensitive nature. People do not openly talk about this condition with others or professionals, which has resulted in many misconceptions. Below are some facts everyone should know about erectile dysfunction.
ED can occur at any age
A common misconception about erectile dysfunction is that it only affects the aged. However, this is far from the truth – ED can affect men of all ages. This is because the condition is not triggered by age, meaning that not all older men suffer from ED. The condition can be caused by certain medical conditions, taking certain medicines, psychological and emotional issues, and specific health-related behaviors like smoking. Anyone experiencing the issues listed above can suffer from ED. However, it is worth mentioning that the risk factors for erectile dysfunction do increase with age. This is because of the increased likelihood of suffering from other medical conditions and exposure to medications that could trigger ED.
ED does not mean just being able to get an erection at all
One of the most prevalent misconceptions about ED is that it is a condition where a man cannot achieve an erection. This is not true. While many men with erectile dysfunction may be unable to get an erection at all, there is more to this condition than this. Some men who suffer from ED can get erections. The issue is that they cannot maintain the erection long enough to participate in satisfactory sexual intercourse.
On the other hand, some men can get an erection, but not when they want to have sex. For instance, some men with ED get morning erections or when they are alone. However, when they want to have intercourse with their partner, they cannot get an erection.
ED is often a result of an underlying health issue
More often than not, ED is usually a result of an underlying health issue. The health issue can either be physical or psychological. Examples of health issues that can result in erectile dysfunction are:
• Cardiovascular issues- these health problems affect the body’s ability to transport blood to the penis efficiently. This directly relates to the onset of ED. Examples of cardiovascular diseases are high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and heart and blood vessel disease.
• Depression- this condition lowers the body’s ability to produce testosterone, a hormone responsible for driving sexual desire. Depression can also lead to stress and anxiety, which also cause ED. Additionally, medications for treating depression can cause erectile dysfunction as a side effect.
• Injuries from treatments for illnesses like prostate cancer
• Injuries to the penis, spinal cord, prostate, pelvis, or bladder
Note that the examples listed above are just a few of the health causes of ED.
ED is something that a lot of people struggle with, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of
Another important fact you need to know about erectile dysfunction is that it is very common. According to research, around 30 million men in the United States alone suffer from ED. Unfortunately, many of these men do not like talking, opening up about, or seeking professional help because of the sensitive nature of the condition. However, you should know that ED is nothing to be ashamed of, and many men struggle with it.
Stress and anxiety are the most common causes of ED
Stress and anxiety are indeed the most prevalent causes of erectile dysfunction. When you are stressed, your body releases stress hormones, like cortisol. These hormones trigger a state of fight or flight throughout the body. The cortisol hormone can also constrict the blood vessels in your penis. Note that lack of adequate flow of blood to your penis can cause ED.
Stress and anxiety can also affect the way the brain signals your physical body responses. For instance, they can interrupt how your brain sends a message to allow the flow of extra blood flow to your penis.
It is also worth mentioning that stress and anxiety are prevalent causes of ED because numerous factors can cause them. For example, stress can stem from work, relationships, finances, family, change, and a host of other elements. On the other hand, anxiety can stem from low-self esteem (performance anxiety), sudden change, or unexpected news.
ED can be tied to vascular problems
Additionally, it would also help to know that erectile dysfunction is often tied to vascular problems. For a man to achieve an erection, blood needs to fill the vessels in the penis. Therefore, if you suffer from cardiovascular issues, like if your blood vessels are compromised, it can affect your ability to achieve an erection. Health conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and high cholesterol can cause vascular issues which may lead to ED.
Your lifestyle can increase your chances of getting ED
Contrary to widespread belief, your lifestyle can also be linked to ED. Lifestyle habits like smoking and excessive drinking can cause the condition. Furthermore, most people who are obese suffer from conditions like high cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes. These conditions can affect your vascular system, limiting blood flow to your penis, which results in erectile dysfunction. Therefore, you can lower your ED chances by limiting your alcohol intake and practicing a healthy lifestyle.
ED is treatable
Most people do not realize how treatable ED is because they shy away from seeking medical help. However, there are numerous treatments for erectile dysfunction. The treatments differ depending on the cause of the condition. For instance, physical ED can be treated by prescription medication, self-injections, penile implants, and hormone replacement therapy. Physical ED is usually caused by medical conditions or reactions to certain medicines. Therefore, treating the medical conditions can also help with ED.
On the other hand, psychological ED can be handled by treating the underlying psychological causes of the condition. For instance, if depression is the cause of erectile dysfunction, getting professional help for the depression can help with the ED. Therefore, the first thing a medical practitioner will do before prescribing a treatment for ED is to determine its cause. Note that pills are not the only way to treat the condition.
The best way to do away with the misconceptions about erectile dysfunction is to research and reach out to a medical practitioner. Doing this will help you gather accurate information. It will also help you get the help you need to get over the condition.