Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is a common problem among men. You may have heard about it, but what you know could be far from the truth if you did not get it from credible sources. Since there is a certain degree of stigma against it, many men do not disclose the condition, and they end up not seeking medical help. Stigma has also led to the spread of false information about the condition and treatment methods. This article will help you understand erectile dysfunction better by debunking five common myths and providing the reality about the condition.
Myth #1: Only Older Men Get ED
You may have gotten the idea that erectile dysfunction only affects older men because advertisers use images of older men. The reality is that ED can affect men of any age. However, the possibility of having the condition increases as your age increases. According to a Massachusetts Male Aging Study, the general prevalence of erectile dysfunction in men is 52%, but only 40% have suffered the condition by the age of 40. However, the numbers rise to 70% at the age of 70.
Certain health conditions like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes can increase the possibility of having ED even at a young age. Other risk factors include alcohol consumption and some medications.
Myth #2: ED is Inevitable at Old Age
Since there is a high possibility of having erectile dysfunction in old age, most people assume that ED is a normal consequence of getting older. The reality is that erectile dysfunction is not directly related to aging, but there are several risk factors for the condition. Below are some of the risk factors:
- Obesity: Being overweight increases your possibility of having the conditions that increase the likelihood of having erectile dysfunction. Obesity can also contribute to blood circulation issues, which contribute to erectile problems.
- Smoking: Smoking cigarettes has a lot of health risk factors. One of these risks is the damage of blood vessels, which impacts circulation and eventually leads to ED.
- Medical conditions: Medical conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes increase the chances of having erectile dysfunction in men of all ages.
- Medical treatments: Some treatment processes like radiation and chemotherapy can also affect the odds of having ED.
- Alcohol use: Overuse of alcohol is a significant contributor to erectile dysfunction in men as it decreases libido and makes it hard for men to attain an erection.
- Hormone problems: Hormones play a vital role in most of our body functions, including erections. For men, low testosterone levels can cause ED as well as other fertility-related issues.
- Psychological conditions: In addition to medical conditions, psychological disorders like anxiety, stress, and depression can also contribute to erectile dysfunction.
Myth #3: There is Nothing Dangerous Causing ED
Though erectile dysfunction itself isn’t life-threatening, it can be a warning sign of a serious health condition like heart disease or diabetes. It is important to consult with your doctor whenever you experience ED because they will conduct a medical examination to find the problem’s root cause. If there are no underlying health conditions, the doctor can use several effective treatment methods. The doctor will also let you know if an underlying health issue causes the condition and advise you accordingly.
Myth #4: ED Means You Are not attracted to Your Partner
Though a lack of sexual attraction to your partner might make it more difficult to have an erection and sustain it, it does not cause erectile dysfunction. There is a high possibility that it is caused by something else. As mentioned earlier, the common causes of ED are heart problems, diabetes, some medications, hormone problems, psychological problems, and hormone problems.
Some types of prostate and bladder surgery also increase the condition’s risks.
On the other hand, men who don’t seek medical help and stay for long with untreated erectile dysfunction increase the possibility of damaging their relationship with their partner. This is because experiencing ED for a long time triggers feelings of inadequacy and frustration, leading to anger, depression, and aggression.
Myth #5: ED Means not Being Able to Have an Erection at All
The definition of erectile dysfunction is that it is the inability to get and keep an erection for long enough to have sex. It is important to note that ED comes in different forms: Some men have problems getting erections, while others have difficulty maintaining their erections. A guy can also get an erection, but it is not hard enough. However, it does not mean that you have ED if you struggle in the bedroom once. It is advisable to talk to your doctor whenever you experience any changes in your sexual performance. The doctor will conduct tests to confirm whether it is erectile dysfunction or not.