Everything you need to know about ED.
You’ve all seen those ads – the ones with the woman lying on the bed, the couples playing tennis, the husband and wife in bathtubs on the beach during a romantic getaway – erectile dysfunction (ED) ads. They run during every sporting event, on every commercial break. But as frequent as these ads can be, their persistence comes within good reason; an estimated 30 million Americans experience ED. And while this issue is so common, 75 percent of men don’t see their doctors about available solutions. While there are several factors influencing this statistic, arguably the biggest one is the taboo factor – ED is hard to talk about. Knowing the ins and outs now can lead to a quicker solution later, should the occasion arise.
WHAT is it?
Erectile dysfunction is the inability to gain or hold an erection sufficient for satisfying sexual activity. It can also mean personal dissatisfaction with the size, hardness, and/or duration of erections. Experiencing this issue every once in a while is common, but if it happens more than 50 percent of the time, it’s time to schedule an appointment with a doctor. Know that ED does not have to be a permanent diagnosis, as there are several treatment options available to remedy the issue.
WHO has it?
Erectile dysfunction does not discriminate – it can happen to men at any age and of any ethnicity. However, those who perform less physical activity, smoke, drink excessively or have a poor diet are more likely to experience ED. Men with underlying diseases, such as prostate problems, high blood pressure, vascular disease, high cholesterol, Peyronie disease and kidney failure are also more likely to develop ED.
WHEN does it occur?
After puberty, ED can happen at any time. While the likelihood of ED increases with age, the aging process does not cause ED. 50 percent of men ages 40 to 70 experience some form of ED, and 50-75 percent of men older than 70 have ED.
WHY does it occur?
A variety of physical and emotional issues may be linked to an ED diagnosis, which is why it’s vital to talk with your physician or urologist to find the root cause of the problem.
Common physical issues that can lead to ED include:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Kidney or liver failure
- Hormonal diseases
- Radical pelvic surgery
- Medications; especially ones used for high blood pressure
Some common emotional issues that can lead to ED are:
HOW to move forward
Erectile dysfunction can most often be treated safely and effectively both through natural remedies and with medication, but the first step towards progress is talking about it. Communication between partners is key to ensure that both parties understand the diagnosis is not a reflection of their actions (though underlying relationship issues may be considered). It is important to be supportive of loved ones during this time – through mutual understanding and support in seeking help.
Overall, know that erectile dysfunction is nothing to be ashamed of, and there are many treatment options available. The best solution towards approaching sexual dysfunction is to schedule an appointment with your physician or urologist.