Erectile dysfunction (ED) is common amongst men, especially those over the age of 40. Here’s a quick guide on its causes, risks, prevention, and treatment.
More than half of men over 50 suffer from mild and moderate ED. And the percentage significantly increases as age goes higher.
ED isn’t anything to be embarrassed about and is often not a cause of concern unless this disorder’s development is due to a related illness.
It’s in your best interest to see a doctor as soon as possible so they can eliminate other concerning reasons for erectile dysfunction.
Common Causes Of Erectile Dysfunction
Male sexual arousal is a complex process that combines hormones, the brain, nerves, emotions, blood vessels, and muscles.
Erectile dysfunction can result from a problem with any of these, but mental health concerns and stress can worsen this condition, as well.
Some common physical causes for erectile dysfunction include:
- Atherosclerosis (clogged blood vessels);
- Heart disease;
- High blood pressure;
- High cholesterol;
- Metabolic syndrome;
- Parkinson’s disease;
- Certain prescription medications;
- Multiple sclerosis;
- Tobacco use;
- Low testosterone.
There are also psychological causes for erectile dysfunction, such as anxiety, depression, stress, relationship problems, and other mental health conditions.
Visit Your Doctor
If you decide to go to the doctor, here’s what will happen:
- The nurse or GP will ask about your relationships, lifestyle, and problems you may have at the moment.
- The doctor will test your blood pressure and take a urine sample.
- Then, they will examine your genitals for possible physical causes.
- Finally, they may examine your prostate.
Treatment For Erectile Dysfunction
One of the most common treatments for erectile dysfunction is by taking Sildenafil (Viagra) orally.
You may have some reservations about taking this pill because there are many myths about Viagra, but most of these don’t hold water.
For example, did you know that Sildenafil is available over the counter and doesn’t require a prescription?
Understand that the treatment for erectile dysfunction depends on what the possible cause for the disease is. For example:
- If high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or the narrowing of blood vessels is the cause for ED, medicine to lower blood pressure will be prescribed.
- Your doctor will treat hormone problems with hormone replacement (like testosterone replacements).
- Finally, if ED is caused by a side effect of prescribed medicine, your GP will change your medicine to see if ED improves.
Common Risk Factors
Your age is a common risk factor for erectile dysfunction, but it isn’t the only cause for concern. Watch out for these various risk factors if you want to avoid ED.
- Smoking tobacco: Tobacco reduces blood flow to arteries and veins. It’s why you used to get a head rush when you started smoking.
- Medical conditions: Heart conditions and diabetes may contribute to ED.
- Obesity: Being overweight can lead to various medical issues.
- Injuries: An injury to the nerves or arteries of the genitals could limit erections.
- Medical treatments: Such as radiation treatments or prostate surgery.
- Drug and alcohol use: Long-term drug use can contribute to ED.
- Psychological conditions: Such as anxiety, stress, or depression.
If you do develop ED, you could develop complications related to the disorder such as:
- Unsatisfactory sex life;
- Low self-esteem;
- More stress;
- Relationship problems;
- And the inability to get your partner pregnant.
How To Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
You can prevent erectile dysfunction before it starts by implementing a few lifestyle changes:
- Ask your doctor how you can manage any existing health condition, like diabetes and heart disease, that could flare up your ED.
- See your doctor for medical screening tests and regular checkups.
- Be sure to exercise regularly, reduce stress, and get help when you’re experiencing depression or anxiety.
- Finally, avoid smoking, alcohol, and drugs.
As you can see, your age isn’t the only major factor that’s causing you erectile dysfunction. So make sure to prevent this from happening as soon as possible by following the above tips.