There’s no shortage of TV commercials and bulk email every day talking about male impotence, or erectile dysfunction. But what really causes this problem? And what can you do about it?
According to WebMD, erectile dysfunction affects an estimated 18 million men in the US alone. Wow! And that’s just the number that admits having the problem. Imagine how many guys aren’t exactly willing to admit they can’t “get it up” to someone who calls to do a survey. After all, it’s not usually the favorite party conversation topic.
So what exactly IS erectile dysfunction?pre
Erectile dysfunction (ED or (male) impotence) is a sexual dysfunction characterized by the inability to develop or maintain an erection of the penis. – Wikipedia
What are the most common causes of erectile dysfunction?
What most people don’t realize is that erectile dysfunction is not necessarily just a simple physical problem.
And guess what – maybe it’s not even a “medical” problem! If you eat unhealthy foods, never exercise, or live every day in an unhappy and stressful relationship, while going to a job you hate, then you’re very unlikely to have the multi hour erections you used to have back in your college days.
The real cause could be physical, psychological, emotional, or even related to your lifestyle. What’s worse, any one underlying issue (even a lifestyle issue) can trigger physical problems, which in turn can cause erectile dysfunction – or many other health problems. For example, a significant amount of stress in your everyday life can leave you open and susceptible to all kinds of illnesses, which in turn can trigger other problems.
At times even a combination of issues can cause ED, making it more difficult to diagnose the real source of the problem.
Most common physical causes of erectile dysfunction, according to the Mayo Clinic:
- Heart disease
- Clogged blood vessels (atherosclerosis)
- High blood pressure
- Metabolic syndrome
Other causes of erectile dysfunction include:
- Certain prescription medications
- Tobacco use
- Alcoholism and other forms of drug abuse
- Treatments for prostate cancer
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Hormonal disorders such as low testosterone (hypogonadism)
- Peyronie’s disease
- Surgeries or injuries that affect the pelvic area or spinal cord
Psychological and emotional issues can also lead to erectile dysfunction
Feeling of strong sexual excitement, or a strong sex drive, are not completely depending on physical factors. Depression, anxiety, fatigue, and most importantly – stress – can disrupt these feelings and lead to what is called erectile dysfunction.
In this case it certainly wouldn’t be a physical problem, so beware of treating it the same way. Again, it’s important to identify the core underlying issue and treat it.
What can you really do about erectile dysfunction?
The most important first step for you to take is to consult your doctor, and correctly diagnose your problem. With all the TV ads advertising the blue pill, the purple pill, and all kinds of other well marketed pills, it’s hard to know what you’re actually fixing (or breaking).
All that having been said, once you’re well informed and have an informed medical opinion as to the cause of your impotence, it’s time to do some serious research and figure out what you should do about it.
Medical treatments for erectile dysfunction
Our society demands instant cures for everything, so doctors are often prescribing pills to quickly cure whatever symptom we’re all complaining about.
For male impotence, the more frequently prescribed treatments are medicates like Viagra and Cialis.
Consider natural alternatives
In addition to medications, there are various natural and herbal supplements for treating (or reversing) impotence, such as Herbal Viagra.
Keep an open mind to natural and alternative approaches. For example, if your problem is ultimately caused by an ongoing stressful situation in your everyday life, then maybe it’s to your advantage to ease that stress. Sure some supplements, better diet, and possibly even ED medication (whether prescription or herbal) might also help, but in the long run, deal with the real issue.
We’re certainly believe it’s important to visit your doctor and get an informed medical opinion of your situation first. But then, be smart and take the time to research and fully understand your options. Don’t just blindly follow what one person tells you, even if you paid a lot of money for that office visit. Just remember, that one person may also be blindly following what someone else told him!
Modern medicine has done wonders for our society, and it’s great at fixing injuries, traumas, and various other accidental issues. But its track record for actually ‘curing’ some more common health problems is not impressive. Case in point, the medical industry doesn’t talk in terms of “fixing” or “healing” problems, instead they talk about “pain management”, “symptom management”, and such.
You want resolution, not a “management plan”!
Consider life changes for your health
Once you have identified what situation in your life may be contributing to impotence, take steps to correct them!
Deal with that situation that’s irritating you or giving you an excuse to be miserable. And if your relationship isn’t “what it could be”, do something about it. Go see a therapist (together with your spouse – solo counseling usually results in ending up solo).
If your sex life isn’t “what it could be”, then fix it. There’s no good excuse for a miserable sex life. Take steps to rekindle the romance, and spice up your sex life. Talk to your spouse about your intentions, and see what you can come up with together to reinvigorate the magic. It CAN be done, but you have to REALLY want it and make a commitment to it.
Of course it’s never a bad time to start an exercise program (one that your doctor would approve of), or to start eating healthier.
And back to alternative solutions, massage and meditation have been shown to dramatically reduce stress and help you increase your quality of life.