According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, nearly 30 million men in the U.S. live with erectile dysfunction. Age is not the cause of ED, but males are more likely to experience the condition as they grow older. The source stated that erectile dysfunction occurs in only 12 percent of men younger than 60, 22 percent of men aged 60 to 69 and 30 percent of men aged 70 or older.
Let's take a closer look at exactly what the condition is, what causes ED and possible options for treatment:
What is erectile dysfunction?
The NIDDK defines erectile dysfunction – also referred to as incompetence – as an instance in which a man is unable to stay erect during sexual encounters. The condition can present itself in different ways, such as:
- A man can get an erection sometimes, but not every time he's ready to perform sexual intercourse.
- A man can get an erection, but he can't make it last long enough to perform sexual intercourse.
- A man cannot get an erection at all.
For a man to receive an erection, the brain reacts to sexual urges and sends impulses to the nerves in the penis. Without this connection, a man cannot have an erection, thus leading to ED, which negatively impacts a man's sex life and overall well-being.
What are the common causes of ED?
According to Medical News Today, this condition most likely occurs when the blood flow, nerve supply or hormones that are necessary to produce an erection are compromised. A variety of physical, psychological and emotional issues may cause a man to develop ED. Here are some of physical health issues that may contribute to the development of the condition, according to the NIDDK:
- High blood pressure.
- Heart and blood vessel disease.
- Chronic kidney disease.
- Multiple sclerosis.
- Radiation from prostate surgery.
- Bladder cancer surgery.
- Peyronie's disease.
- Any injury to the penis, spinal cord, prostate, bladder or pelvis.
Some of the emotional or psychological issues that contribute to ED include:
- Low self-esteem.
According to Healthline, the following lifestyle choices can make it more difficult for men to develop an erection:
- Excessive drinking.
- Feeling stressed out too often.
- Experiencing relationship issues.
- Neglecting to exercise.
- Following a poor diet.
Males experiencing any of the common causes and are worried about their sexual health should reach out to a doctor.
How can ED be treated?
Men with erectile dysfunction can schedule an appointment with the doctor to discuss treatment options for the condition. Your health care provider may recommend making lifestyle changes, taking medication or seeking other treatments based on the underlying cause of your situation. Here are a few options the doctor may recommend:
1. Making positive lifestyle changes
By making healthier lifestyle choices, you may find the underlying cause of ED. Quitting smoking, limiting your consumption of alcohol, improving your diet and spending more time exercising may improve your sexual well-being.
2. Seeking assistance from a counselor
If emotional or psychological issues are keeping you from performing sexually, a counselor or psychiatrist may be able to help. Decreasing your anxiety or stress can improve your overall health and clear your mind of the chaos that may be causing ED.
3. Taking medication
Depending on the results of your blood work, your doctor may suggest taking an oral medication to help you get an erection.
4. Considering PRP therapy
Men who lead healthy lifestyles and would prefer not to take medication may have an alternative option. A recent study found that patients with ED reacted well to PRP therapy. The physicians involved in the study were pleased with the outcome and believe that this therapy will revolutionize the way erectile dysfunction is treated in the future.
At the Longevity & Stem Cell Centre of Houston, we offer PRP therapy and are willing to share more information on the treatment for erectile dysfunction. If you're a male seeking an alternative option for treating ED, don't hesitate to contact us today.