Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a condition that occurs when a man cannot get or keep an erection long enough for sexual intercourse. ED can be quite embarrassing, understandably so, which leads many men to keep to themselves about it, and not speak up, or seek appropriate medical attention as they ideally should.
Men are sexually aroused by a complex process that involves his brain, his hormones, emotions, nerves, his muscles, and his blood vessels. If there is a problem or imbalance in any of these, it could lead to erectile dysfunction.
Erectile dysfunction itself is not dangerous but it can be an early warning sign of serious health conditions such as; diabetes, heart diseases, obesity, etc, which in the long run can be life-threatening.
What causes erectile dysfunction?
Sometimes a combination of physical and psychological issues can cause erectile dysfunction. For instance, a minor physical condition that slows your sexual response might cause anxiety about maintaining an erection. The brain plays a key role in triggering the series of physical events that cause an erection, starting with feelings of sexual excitement. Several things can interfere with sexual feelings and cause or worsen erectile dysfunction. These include depression, stress, anxiety, or other mental health conditions.
Other causes of erectile dysfunction include:
- Heart disease
- Clogged blood vessels (atherosclerosis)
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Metabolic syndrome, is a condition involving increased blood pressure, high insulin levels, body fat around the waist, and high cholesterol
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Certain prescription medications
- Tobacco use
- Peyronie’s disease is the development of scar tissue inside the penis
- Alcoholism and other forms of substance abuse
- Sleep disorders
- Treatments for prostate cancer or enlarged prostate
- Surgeries or injuries that affect the pelvic area or spinal cord
- Low testosterone
What myths surround erectile dysfunction?
Due to the fact that many people suffering from ED do not seek professional help, it becomes very easy for myths about it to spread, and mislead people. Some individuals believe that if you are having trouble with getting an erection it is because you are not sexually attracted to your partner. While a lack of attraction might be valid in some cases, it doesn’t automatically mean that you have erectile dysfunction. Certain people also believe that erectile dysfunction can only affect older men. This particular myth is quite misleading because it gives younger men the impression that it cannot affect them, and they do not need to take precautions against it.
How can you prevent erectile dysfunction?
The best way to prevent ED is to make healthy lifestyle choices and properly manage any existing health conditions that may cause it. For example:
- Work with your doctor to manage diabetes, heart disease, or other chronic health conditions.
- See your doctor for regular checkups and medical screening tests.
- Stop smoking, limit or avoid alcohol, and don’t use illegal drugs.
- Exercise regularly.
- Take steps to reduce stress.
- Get professional help to manage anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions.
If you are currently experiencing symptoms of ED or have any condition that could be a cause of erectile dysfunction, you can privately speak to a doctor on Tremendoc who will recommend treatments that are best for you.
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