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Erectile Dysfunction - What You Need to Know

by Arkansas Urology on Monday, February 04, 2019

 

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is much more common than you may think! You are not the only one who deals with this. In fact, studies show that it affects half of men over 40 and that almost all men will suffer from ED at one time or another. ED is defined as the inability to get or maintain an erection, which can lead to stress, strain on your relationships and self-confidence issues.

The important thing for both you and your partner to remember is that it is not a reason to freak out. Being overly concerned about an ED episode will just add more anxiety and the erectile dysfunction will be more likely to continue. You need to understand that it could potentially be an isolated incident. However, if it does continue to occur you should not just ignore it and hope it will go away on its own.

There are many causes of ED, and the most common is vascular disease especially in men over 50. It can also be a side effect of medications or other chronic health issues. While ED is very rarely just all “in your head,” depression and anxiety can be an underlying contributor. Low testosterone can also affect your ability to get an erection. That is why it is so important to consult your doctor.

The treatment for ED depends on the cause. After your diagnosis, your doctor can help you navigate various ED treatment options. Up to seventy percent of men experiencing erectile dysfunction show improvement with the use of prescription drugs. Testosterone therapies are available for men with ED related to low testosterone. Sometimes lifestyle changes such as exercise and a healthier diet can improve or prevent ED. In rare cases, surgery may be a consideration.

So in the heat of the moment, what you need to know if you are having trouble achieving or maintaining an erection is: RELAX! Communicate what is happening and how you are feeling with your partner. Don’t worry that your sex life is over. However, if your ED is more than just a one-time event there are many treatment options available. Never be embarrassed or afraid to share your erectile dysfunction concerns with your doctor.