It is a universal standard that the word `erection` is not spoken in public; like a taboo. Even though erectile dysfunction/weak erection has become a prevalent health problem affecting the intimate lives of men and a dreaded cause for physical and emotional distress, most men shy away from talking about it. This is broadly known as the `keep quiet` policy, and it means that many men are suffering in silence.
However, it is imperative to engage the matter and educate yourself about the various causes of erectile dysfunction, especially if you have been grappling with a performance issue for some time and do not know how to tackle it on your own. Learn more about erectile dysfunction from the experts of men's health and beat your worries off!
What Is Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction refers to a condition that consistently affects a person’s ability to achieve or maintain a satisfactory erection. It is currently one of the most common sexual dysfunctions worldwide with prevalence as high as 52%. Still, it is usually underestimated because of the associated stigma and misinformation that make many men uncomfortable discussing their `shameful` secret.
Studies suggest that one of every ten men may experience erectile dysfunction at some point during his lifetime. It was once thought to be mainly a psychological and lifestyle disorder. Nevertheless, it became clear more recently that in the vast majority of cases, erectile dysfunction is primarily attributable to an underlying organic cause. Moreover, erectile dysfunction may be associated with other problems that interfere with intimate acts, such as decreased desire and problems with ejaculation. This nerve-wracking ailment often has a negative impact on intimate life and can cause additional stress, relationship problems, frustration, lack of self-confidence, and low self-esteem.
Understanding the most common potential risk factors for erectile dysfunction can help men understand why they may be experiencing this health problem and alert them at an early stage to seek specialised medical help. These include, but not limited to:
- Diabetes Mellitus: This is a typical and appalling example of an endocrine ailment that can cause a person to suffer from weak erection. One of the complications associating diabetes – especially if uncontrolled - is nerve damage, starting with the delicate peripheral nerves of the body, including the male organ's nerve supply. Other diabetes-induced complications include impaired male organ's blood flow. These complications ultimately contribute to the development/deterioration of erectile dysfunction.
- Hypertension: Over time, high blood pressure damages the lining of blood vessels and induces arterial walls to harden and narrow. This accelerates the development of atherosclerosis and inadequacy of blood flow inside the male organ.
- Hyperlipidaemia: Several things can lead to atherosclerosis, including abnormal levels of `bad` cholesterol (also known as low-density lipoproteins – LDL). High levels of cholesterol in the blood can cause a buildup of cholesterol on the inside of the arterial walls, which in turn can narrow these blood vessels.
- Metabolic syndrome: A condition describing an umbrella of risk factors including high blood pressure, type II diabetes, high cholesterol, low testosterone, and increased body fat around the waist. These factors, combined, create the perfect storm for developing cardiovascular disease and inadequate blood flow throughout the body, including the male organ. There is a strong correlation between metabolic syndrome and the development/aggravation of erectile dysfunction.
- Prescription medications: Certain medications can negatively impact erectile function, including antihypertensive drugs (e.g. thiazide diuretics and beta-blockers), antidepressants, and antihistamines. Some medications for gastric reflux and gastritis can also cause temporary erectile dysfunction.
- Mental health problems: Because arousal starts in the brain, psychological issues can negatively impact erectile function. Mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, or overwhelming stress exert a suppressing effect on libido and thus make it difficult for the person to get aroused.
- Hormonal disturbances: Testosterone is the primary sex hormone in men, and is responsible for intimate drive and high libido. A decrease in libido commonly associates the decline in testosterone level.
- Lifestyle Conditions: Smoking, alcohol intake, and obesity are notorious for their role in increasing the risk of developing a vascular disease that causes erectile dysfunction.
The good news is that the ceaseless advances in science brought in various novel solutions for erectile dysfunction which are doing more than enhance the intimate relationships of untold numbers of men worldwide; they have also brought what had previously considered a taboo subject out into the open. The ideal plan for treating erectile dysfunction is to manage the root cause(s) along with the restoration of erectile function.
WE HAVE ANSWERS ABOUT ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION FOR YOU
It is not uncommon for many men to find it challenging to attain or keep an erection on an occasional basis, and it is usually nothing to worry about. However, if you are experiencing consistent difficulties that are negatively impacting your enjoyment of a satisfying intimate life, make an appointment to see your trusted men's health expert. He understands the distressing impact that erectile dysfunction has on your life, and will take your concerns very seriously as he formulates a treatment plan tailored to your unique health needs.
Stand up to the problem, and you may be satisfyingly surprised that a cure is just around the corner. Treatments for erectile dysfunction are highly successful for most men, so the sooner you seek treatment, the sooner you will be able to return to a healthy and satisfying intimate life. Getting to the real cause behind erectile dysfunction requires careful diagnosis, so take proactive measures to protect your health and long-term well-being.
Dr Anis Haddad
Urologist, Andrologist and Sexologist
Male Health Expert