Let’s get one truth about erectile dysfunction (ED) out in the open right from the start — it’s a lot more common than you might think. In fact, more than half the male population in the United States is affected by ED at some point in their lives. And the reason why ED is so prevalent is because of the many factors that can contribute to the condition.
Here at our practice, we specialize in men’s health, and ED is a common complaint among our Houston area patients. Dr. Robert J. Cornell and the rest of our team understand the challenges that come with ED, and more importantly, how to remedy them.
To help you educate yourself on ED, we’ve pulled together a few facts and myths about the condition.
1. It’s an age thing
One of the most commonly held beliefs about ED is that it only develops in older men. While the prevalence of ED does indeed rise in lockstep with age — 40% of men over the age of 40 and 70% of men over the age of 70 — the condition can strike at any age. In fact, more than a quarter of men under the age of 40 have some experience with ED, and half of these men have serious problems with the condition.
So while there’s some truth to ED affecting older men more often, you can struggle with the problem at any age because of the myriad conditions that can lead to ED.
2. It’s a problem of blood flow
In many cases, yes, ED is caused by poor blood flow to the penis, but the ability to achieve and maintain an erection involves many different components outside of your circulatory system, such as your:
- Nervous system
Every man’s experience with ED is different and can stem from a combination of the problems above. In fact, ED tends to snowball as a physical problem turns into a mental hurdle as well.
3. ED is a dangerous health condition
ED, in and of itself, isn’t a dangerous condition, but the problem could signal a larger health issue such as atherosclerosis, which is clogging of your arteries. If you’re struggling with ED, it’s a good idea to have us check you out in case it’s a symptom of a more serious health issue, including high blood pressure, diabetes, or a nerve disorder.
4. ED is in my head
Here again, we’d like to emphasize that men develop ED for any number of reasons, and your mental health can play a role. If you’re overstressed or you’re suffering from depression or anxiety, ED can be a side effect.
5. Lifestyle and ED
It is true that some of your lifestyle choices may affect your ability sexually. For example, excessive drinking often leads to ED and smoking can wreak havoc on your blood vessels, which can affect your ability to get an erection. As well, carrying extra weight is also a risk factor that’s associated with ED. The bottom line is that lifestyle factors can have a negative impact on your health, and we can review them with you to figure out whether some changes may improve your ED.
6. There’s no cure for ED
False! Once we determine the root cause of your ED, there are many ways to address the problem, including:
- Lifestyle changes
- Vacuum erection devices
- Penile implants
Rest assured, thanks to this wide variety of treatment options, we can help remedy the problem.
To learn more about ED, please give us a call at (281)607-5300 or use the online scheduling tool to set up a consultation.