Ensuring You Continue to Have a Healthy Night Life
Erectile dysfunction (ED) impacts 30 million men in the United States. Understandably, ED can pose various embarrassing and upsetting scenarios. For instance, it can significantly impact intimacy within a romantic partnership. However, not all is lost. In this article, we outline common ED causes, ED symptoms, ED diagnosis, and ED treatment. What should you know? How can you make ED a thing of the past?
Common ED Causes
ED is the inability to maintain an erection to engage in sexual activity. It’s also important to note that it’s perfectly normal to have the occasional trouble maintaining an erection. ED is defined as when this issue becomes frequent and begins to significantly impact your sex life.
ED symptoms include trouble getting or keeping an erection and reduced sexual desire.
So, why does ED happen?
It all comes down to the blood flow within the male genitalia. If there is a problem with circulation to the penis, ED may occur, and this can happen due to alcohol or drug use, smoking, high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, metabolic syndrome, obesity, treatment for cancer, sleep disorders, stress, depression, and anxiety.
ED may further arise due to nerve damage associated with multiple sclerosis, diabetes, or Parkinson’s disease. Additionally, this condition is more likely to happen in older men due to declining health.
Luckily, there are plenty of ED treatment options.
Peyronie's disease is a condition that develops on the penis, causing curved, painful erections. The significant bend in some men can lead to painful experiences. Here are some things that can occur due to this disease:
- Erection problems: It may be more difficult to get or maintain an erection. More men have said that their erectile dysfunction started before Peyronie's disease symptoms started happening.
- Shortening of the penis: The length of your penis may become shorter.
- Pain: Whether you have an erection or not, you may feel pain.
ED Diagnosis and Treatment
ED diagnosis often involves a series of questions and examinations by your doctor. They may inquire about your sexual history and if you’ve had any other medical conditions or treatments impacting the male genitals. Once diagnosed, proper treatment can be sought.
ED treatment involves addressing the cause of this condition; this may include:
1. Lifestyle Changes
If metabolic syndrome or being overweight is considered a contributing factor, altering your lifestyle can help you overcome ED, meaning exercising regularly and altering your diet to include more whole foods and less processed and pre-packaged items.
In a 2018 research study, researchers concluded that 160 minutes of aerobic activity each week over six months might significantly improve ED.
Other habits worth addressing include quitting smoking, reducing drug use, and minimizing or forgoing alcohol intake.
Depending on your health and specific situation, your doctor may recommend certain medications to help with ED, such as Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis. These medications work by improving blood flow to the male sexual organs.
3. Counseling or Therapy
In cases where stress, anxiety, depression, or other mental health disorders are present, it’s important to address these issues head-on by talking with a professional. A counselor or therapist can help you determine strategies to overcome these mental health issues. In turn, this can improve ED.
4. Penis Pumps & Surgery
For mild ED, penis pumps may help maintain or obtain an erection. Penile implants are another option that involves surgery and securing a device on either side of the penis.
It’s important to note that there are many ways to prevent ED altogether, and a lot of this comes down to maintaining a healthy lifestyle; this usually means:
- No smoking.
- Regular exercise.
- Eating primarily whole foods.
- Avoiding drug use.
- Using healthy stress-coping techniques.
There are also many ways to achieve the above. For instance, if you have excess weight to lose or sore joints, it may be best to start with easy exercise like swimming. If you aren’t used to cooking at home, this can also be implemented slowly by deciding to cook one or two meals a week at home. This way, you know the exact ingredients that go into your food and can make healthy choices.
Overcoming ED With Your S.O.
A major hurdle many individuals face with ED is the problems it may cause in their relationships. It’s critical to discuss this together, and both understand that this is a common but treatable condition. While you may feel embarrassed to discuss it, doing so could bring your relationship closer and foster understanding. Be honest with your partner and allow them to help you explore viable solutions.
Lastly, if you have trouble discussing this with your partner, it may help to see a counselor together. By doing so, you can learn to communicate better and potentially learn how to overcome ED together. Seeing a counselor further doesn’t necessarily mean anything is inherently wrong with your relationship. It’s a very mature and respectable option to foster better understanding and communication within the relationship closest to you.