Viagra® debuted over 20 years ago, yet we still have trouble talking about erectile dysfunction. E.D. commercials hint around the subject without directly touching on it, and Viagra even has a nickname, “the little blue pill.” Though the stigma still exists, we know more and are better at treating erectile dysfunction than ever before.
Despite all the hinting, E.D. is an issue that impacts millions of men. The University of Wisconsin estimates that about 5% of men over 40 suffer from complete erectile dysfunction; that number rises to 15% when you raise the age basement to 70. The University further explains that mild-to-moderate erectile dysfunction effects 10% more men per decade.
What is E.D.?
By definition, erectile dysfunction is the consistent inability to get and keep an erection firm enough for sex. The act of getting an erection is a complex process that involves the brain, hormones, nerves, muscles, and blood circulation. If any of the factors are off, an erection may not occur.
What causes E.D.?
Causes of erectile dysfunction can be grouped into two distinct areas: psychological and physical.
Psychological causes can include stress, anxiety, depression, or fatigue. Stress and anxiety can come about in different ways, including general stress and anxiety or stress and anxiety caused by a previous failure to become erect. Often, the embarrassment of a previous lack of erection can exacerbate the issue.
More external psychological factors, such a poor communication with your partner, alcoholism, tobacco use, and drug abuse can also cause erectile dysfunction. Certain prescription drugs also list erectile dysfunction or failure to climax as side effects.
On the physical side, two of the more common causes of E.D. are diabetes and heart conditions. In fact, many underlying heart conditions first manifest themselves in the form of erectile dysfunction. Viagra itself was first invented to treat heart-related chest pain. Hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity, clogged blood vessels, low testosterone, and prostate issues are also known culprits.
If you’re suffering from E.D., visit Wellness 1st Integrative Medical Center. Our team of providers are well-versed in men’s health and can work with you to create a custom treatment plan.
Prevention and Treatment
Like so many other disorders, prevention comes from living a healthy lifestyle. Eliminate or decrease the presence of stressors in your life. Exercise and a balanced diet may be able to solve obesity related E.D. At Wellness 1st Integrative Medical Center, we can help you determine if you’re taking the right drugs and dosage of your current prescriptions as well. You will want to look into decreasing your tobacco and alcohol usage and should avoid illegal drugs as well.
The most common treatment method are oral drugs called phosphodiesterase type-5 inhibitors, the likes of which include Viagra, Cialis® and Levitra®. These drugs only work when you’re aroused. They help an erection by inhibiting the process that lets blood leave the penis. Since an erection is basically caused by an increase blood flow to the penis, an erection is achieved. As the medication wears off, blood flow returns to normal.
Other potential treatments include hormone replacement therapy, which increases testosterone in the body, penile injections, and vacuum erection devices. Whether you’re working on treatment or prevention, communication with your partner(s) is key. Trust and intimacy can help alleviate many psychological factors.
E.D. doesn’t have to end your sex life! The staff at Wellness 1st Integrative Medical Center will help you conquer erectile dysfunction with our signature passionate holistic healthcare. Request an appointment online, or give us a call today!