It’s easy to dismiss erectile dysfunction as an “old man’s problem” or joke about how someone just “wilts under pressure.” But erectile dysfunction, also known as ED or impotence, affects men of all ages, sizes and persuasions. Understanding what ED is will go a long way toward finding relief for those who are afflicted.
In simple terms, erectile dysfunction is the inability for a man to develop or sustain an erection during any type of sexual activity. Although the problem is more common in older men, studies suggest that about 40 percent of males have had at least occasional cases of ED, and as many as 30 million men in the United States are regularly afflicted. Furthermore, the increased risk for ED as a man ages is not due to the aging itself; rather, it is because many of the factors that cause ED are more common in older men.
There are number of factors that can cause or increase the risk of ED, most of which are physical in nature. The most common causes are medical conditions that restrict blood flow to the penis, including artery problems, diabetes, atherosclerosis and Peyronie’s disease. Certain prescription and over-the-counter drugs can affect the nerve signals that control the vascular process. Psychological factors such as stress, depression and anxiety can also adversely affect performance.
While occasional problems aren’t anything to worry about, you should see a doctor if you have frequent performance issues. You should begin with your regular doctor, who in turn may refer you to a psychologist or urologist. Treatment options can include anything from medicine or therapy to wholesale lifestyle changes, depending on the root cause and the severity of your condition. You should check with your insurance company to see whether your specific treatment is covered.
Erectile dysfunction is no laughing matter. Not only can it be a sign of a larger health problem, but performance issues can deal a crushing blow to a man’s self-esteem and that of his partner. If you’re having frequent issues, talk to your doctor today, and let Urology Health Store set you up with the recommended solution to restoring a healthy, confident sex life.