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Erectile dysfunction is a global phenomenon—affecting nearly 50% of all men aged 40 to 70.
Men aged 70 and above, in particular, are the most vulnerable group to contract this disease.
It’s also estimated that 325 million men will be diagnosed with this condition by the year 2025.
With these harrowing statistics, it’s no secret that erectile dysfunction is one of the most common conditions out there that men can face.
Fortunately, many cases of ED are mild to moderate in nature. This means that they can be managed and potentially reversed with the right treatment and care from doctors.
With the advancement of technology in the medical field today, it’s also not unheard of for the most severe cases of erectile dysfunction to be treated and reversed.
However, as the common adage goes, prevention is always better than a cure.
If you catch yourself having any of the symptoms below, or have already been diagnosed with these health conditions, take steps to treat erectile dysfunction before it worsens.
Let’s learn more about erectile dysfunction and what causes this male sexual dysfunction.
What is Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is a medical condition that affects a man’s ability to get and sustain an erection needed for sexual intercourse.
Problems in keeping your penis hard can have two potential causes. It could be a physical health problem that would need underlying health treatment. It may also be psychological—arising due to psychological and mental health issues.
One way to tell whether you have physical or psychological ED is by determining whether you have had erections during sleep. Men can have about 3 to 5 erections during their slumber. The average duration of the erection is 25 to 35 minutes each time.
In the case of physical erectile dysfunction, there should be no evidence of impotence during a natural sleep cycle.
However, if one has psychological ED, there’s still a chance that a man may experience proper erectile function.
Nonetheless, these markers may still need further evaluation. Consult with an ED doctor to examine your sexual history.
Primary Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
Sexual arousal involves multiple parts of your body, from your blood vessels to your brain. When a problem occurs in these parts of the body, you may suffer from erectile dysfunction.
It’s also possible for ED to arise due to a combination of both physical and psychological causes. A man who has mild ED caused by physical risks, for example, can develop anxiety or depression, which may exacerbate the moderate to severe symptoms of ED.
Here are some of the more common causes of ED.
Atherosclerosis is a condition in which fatty deposits build up on the inside of artery walls. This can eventually lead to a narrowing of the arteries, which reduces blood flow to the penis.
When not enough blood flows to the penis, symptoms of ED may arise as a result.
Diabetes is a leading cause of ED, as it can damage small blood vessels and nerves throughout the body. This damage can interfere with the ability to get and maintain an erection.
3. High Blood Pressure
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can cause dilation problems in the arteries around the body. This makes it harder for blood to flow to the penis, losing or impairing its ability to stay erect for long periods.
According to a study in the National Institutes of Medicine, about 67 to 68% of men with some form of high blood pressure also suffer from erectile dysfunction.
High blood pressure has also been linked with low testosterone levels in the body, which is another marker for impaired sexual function in men.
4. Heart Disease
Heart disease is another common cause of ED. Erectile dysfunction and the vascular system are heavily linked with one another—and not doing anything to improve your lifestyle can pose some serious consequences down the line.
Types of heart disease that may arise as a result of ED include high cholesterol and hypertension.
If you have cardiovascular problems, there’s a good chance you’ll also experience ED. Thankfully, research suggeststhat you can add years to life (and improve ED) by implementing positive life changes to improve your health.
These treatment plans go as follows:
- Exercising regularly (at least 150 minutes a week)
- Sleeping at least 6 to 8 hours a day
- Eating a proper diet rich in nutrients and protein
- Avoiding too many cigarettes, coffee, and alcohol
- Undergoing a clinical management program
A lot of these activities are dual-purposed. They improve your symptoms of erectile dysfunction and also reduce your risk of contracting cardiovascular diseases, especially in younger men with no symptomatic observations.
5. Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Kidney diseases like chronic kidney disease are when your kidneys’ function is reduced and it can’t filter the blood as it should.
This can lead to an accumulation of toxins in the body that can damage other organs, including the penis, and lead to erectile dysfunction.
Kidney diseases typically arise from other pre-existing conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. But it can also be genetic.
Digestive diseases like inflammatory bowel disease may also lead to erectile dysfunction. A study suggests that men with active IBD have an increased risk of manifesting ED than men whose IBD is in remission.
The sooner you let your kidney and bowels undergo a physical examination and blood tests, the better your likelihood is to treat ED.
6. Psychological Issues
Psychological risk factors such as stress and depression are known to be associated with erectile dysfunction. During a depressed state, hormone levels in the brain aren’t enough to stimulate blood flow around the body, including the penis.
Low self-esteem can lead to sexual performance anxiety, which in turn, can make it hard for men to maintain an erection.
Depression (and anti-depression medication) can also lead to erectile dysfunction.
Contact Cleveland’s Leading ED Clinic for Medical Diagnosis and Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction
If you’re experiencing ED symptoms, it’s important to address these problems as soon as possible.
Most often the case, doctors will prescribe patients with ED the following medical treatments:
- ED therapy
- Penile implants
- Penile pumps
- Prescription drugs
- Testosterone therapy
- Acoustic wave therapy
These results are often met with great success. Nonetheless, always consult with a medical professional before attempting to take steps to improve your sex life.
Need help getting started? The medical professionals at Precise Men’s Medical Center in Cleveland specialize in treating conditions that impact men’s health, including erectile dysfunction. Our concierge approach positions your unique case at the centerpoint of our focus. We don’t just give you a pill for ED and send you on your way. We treat the underlying issues that led to conditions such as ED, Low Testosterone, and more. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.