ED is one of the most sensitive subjects when it comes to the health of the average person, also known as sexual dysfunction. Not only is sex a natural part of life but, to a lot of people, it’s a signifier of status, wellbeing, and how healthy their relationship is. As such, it can feel even more deeply personal than many other health issues.
For men, erectile dysfunction is a topic that is often even tougher to address. However, it is important to do that as it can be a sign of some underlying problems that need to be tackled and, furthermore, there are solutions that are worth looking into.
The frequency of ED
One of the factors that can make erectile dysfunction more difficult to talk about is that it can feel like you’re one of the only people who is experiencing it since no one really brings it up with their friends, family, or peers. However, erectile dysfunction is an issue that affects over 30 million men in the US alone.
While men who are over 40 are up to three times as likely to experience it as younger men, about 10% of men in every decade of life experience it, as well. It’s a problem that should be addressed with all men in mind since it can affect all men.
When should you see a doctor about it?
A lot of men will experience erectile dysfunction at some point in their lifetime. For some men, it might be a temporary issue, related to a moment of extreme stress or other life changes. Having trouble getting and keeping an erection, and experiencing reduced sexual desire, is not always a major problem. However, if you have any chronic health issues, including heart and blood pressure health issues, or you have any other symptoms, including sexual problems such as premature or delayed ejaculation, then it’s a good idea to make a trip to your family doctor.
Of course, if erectile dysfunction is persisting for multiple weeks at a time, that’s a good reason to see your doctor, as well.
Does it come naturally with age?
It has already been mentioned that older men are, indeed, more likely to experience erectile dysfunction, often as much as three times as likely as men who are under 40. While the ability to maintain an erection is not, by any means, always age-related, the risk does increase. However, it is not, necessarily, inevitable. One of the reasons that ED is more common in men who are older is because those men are also much more likely to present the risk factors that also make ED more likely to appear, such as changes in weight, chronic health conditions, and hormone changes. We will address some of these issues with the following points.
General health affects it, too
There is nothing that is necessarily dangerous about erectile dysfunction. However, it can sometimes be a symptom of health issues that you might not yet have fully checked out. There are risk factors such as obesity, smoking, and other general health issues that can make it much more likely, and, as such, taking steps to improve your daily health can also help to prevent erectile dysfunction.
If you do experience ED and you’re aware of any chronic health issues that might be a risk factor, then you should see your doctor. They can perform blood tests, urine tests, and an ultrasound to make sure that there are no undiscovered and untreated health issues that might be the root of the problem.
Addressing hormone imbalances
If there are no chronic health conditions or other immediately notable causes that could explain your ED, then it could be hormonal changes that are affecting it, instead. Low testosterone is a common problem in men and can come with symptoms such as a depressed mood, fatigue, a loss of muscular strength, and a generally lower sense of well-being.
If you are experiencing these alongside erectile dysfunction and low sex drive, then HRT, or hormone replacement therapy, might be able to help you. You can get a test for the levels of testosterone in your blood and, if they are lower than they should be, you can have it optimized back to effective levels, which can improve your mood, and wellbeing, and make it much easier to get and maintain an erection.
The mental health side of things
Mental health can play a huge role in the risk of erectile dysfunction, as well. Depression is one of the leading causes of sexual dysfunction across the board. Periods of high stress can also make it difficult to maintain an erection. A lot of people will go through periods of mood changes, often in response to major changes in their life.
However, if you are experiencing these problems for weeks or even months, then it might be time to talk about it to your doctor. You could find that seeing a therapist might help you manage your moods more effectively and there are always pharmaceutical treatments that can improve your mood while also treating your ED.
The medical solution
When it comes to the treatment of ED, most men are familiar with the most famous oral medication. Viagra tends to be the most commonly known one, but there are other solutions such as Cialis, Stendra, and Staxyn that might work more effectively for other men. It’s also worth noting that taking these medications alone will not guarantee an erection so it’s always worth taking a closer look at the potential causes and other treatment paths that you can take, as well. There are also some cases in which medication might not be recommended, such as if you have heart disease, low blood pressure, or take nitrate drugs.
If you are a man that is experiencing erectile dysfunction, then it is always worth getting in touch with your doctor about it. The sooner you get to the root of the issue, the better you can find a solution.