Erectile dysfunction (ED) is one of those problems that men are hesitant to talk about, which also means there’s a fair amount of misunderstanding about the condition.
In an effort to shed some light on the problem, our experts here at Robert J. Cornell, MD, PA, thought we’d pull together a list of facts about ED for our Houston area patients. Armed with this information, you can better understand the condition, and more importantly, how we can treat it.
The following are 10 surprising facts about erectile dysfunction you may not have known.
1. Not just getting an erection
ED isn’t just the inability to get an erection, though that is the hallmark of the condition. The reality is that there are differing degrees of ED that affect your ability to get an erection or maintain one. This means that men who suffer from ED may be able to achieve an erection, but it doesn’t last long enough for sexual intercourse.
2. By the numbers
If you think your struggle is a lonely one, there may be some solace in the fact that 52% of men in the United States are affected by ED. The prevalence of ED tends to rise with age. For example, 40% of men in their 40s have ED, while 70% of men in their 70s suffer from the condition. But age isn’t always a contributor.
3. Not necessarily an age thing
When it comes to the young and robust, they aren’t immune to ED. Studies have shown that erection problems affect 25% of men under 40, but only 5% have full-fledged ED.
4. ED may be erectile dissatisfaction
Technically, ED is a problem that prevents you from getting or maintaining an erection, and it’s caused by a mental or physical problem. But many men confuse not being satisfied by sex with ED. If you’re finding that your sex life isn’t what it once was, and you’re beginning to lose interest, this may be a case of dissatisfaction, not erectile dysfunction.
5. In the blood
Many cases of ED are tied to vascular problems. When you get an erection, blood fills the vessels in your penis. If you suffer from a cardiovascular issue where your blood vessels are clogged or compromised, this can greatly affect your ability to get an erection. Conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes all cause circulatory problems in every part of your body, including your penis.
6. Lifestyle matters
Your lifestyle habits have an incredibly large impact on your health, including your sexual health. Habits like tobacco use and drinking are linked to ED in undeniable ways. As well, obesity or carrying extra weight, often creates erection problems. The good news on these fronts is that you can take charge of your health and cut back on alcohol, quit smoking, and lose weight.
7. In the head
Getting an erection is as much mental as it is physical, so if you’ve experienced a trauma or you’re under a great deal of stress, ED may become a problem. Men who suffer from depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder often complain about ED.
8. Getting hormonal
Your testosterone levels govern your sexual health in numerous ways, not the least of which is its effect on your libido. Low testosterone levels can cause a lower-than-normal sex drive, which leads to ED.
9. Breaking up
While not common, men can “break” their penises, which can create significant problems with getting an erection. The break is actually your blood vessels bursting, which can be very painful and cause swelling.
10. Beyond the pill
If you’re suffering from ED, there are a number of solutions that you may not have known about. Once we zero in on the underlying cause, we can turn to prescription medications, penile implants, self-injections, vacuum erection devices, hormone replacement therapy, and lifestyle changes in order to restore your sexual health.
If you’d like to learn more about erectile dysfunction, please don’t hesitate to call us. Or you can use the easy online booking tool on this website to set up a consultation.