The ups and downs of erectile dysfunction (ED) can cause a direct hit on men’s self-esteem. Even though estimates vary widely, approximately one-third of men in their lifetime will experience some form of ED, especially with age, according to a 2018 study. But, for men who struggle with achieving or maintaining an erection for sexual intercourse, it’s little consolation they are not alone yet still feel discouraged and insecure moving forward.
Why ED affects men’s self-confidence
ED is a quality of life issue – the first time any man experiences ED can be a moment of complete humiliation and devastation as men take great pride in sexual performance. It’s a factor distinguishing men from women by having the ability to get and maintain a rock-hard erection that brings enormous satisfaction of pleasing their partner and themselves. So when ED happens during sex, it can be embarrassing for a man.
Sex for men is more than just a physical act. Sex is what helps men connect emotionally with their partner and has special meaning for them. Men also believe they need to live up to being virile and desirable. Therefore, if ED happens, they may view it as a sign of weakness or vulnerability, which few men like to display or acknowledge.
If a man chooses not to talk about ED with his primary care physician, his ED problem will not be resolved. But keeping quiet is not a solution. Instead, keeping quiet will only lead to physical and /or psychological consequences, including stress, relationship strain, and ultimately low self-esteem.
That’s why seeking help for ED is vital for resolving the situation to regain back their sex life. But, part of that plan involves figuring out why a man has ED to begin with. Achieving an erection is a complex process involving many body parts – the brain, hormones, nerves, muscles, and blood circulation. Anything interfering with this process can result in ED, including underlying health conditions like cardiovascular problems or diabetes.
Seeking help is a sigh of strength and a sign a man is ready to take charge of his health. Erectile dysfunction may be purely physical or purely psychological or a little bit of both. Either way, the main thing is not delay, get the help men need, and get back to a pleasurable sex life. Besides, when the flag can’t be raised, there’s usually something wrong within the system.
Health conditions leading to ED and solutions for it
For men with ED, there is usually no one thing that is the cause. Generally, it’s a multitude of issues that need addressed which may include the following:
- Certain medications for high blood pressure, antihistamines, antidepressants, or Parkinson’s disease medications.
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Heart disease and high blood pressure
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Psychological issues interfering with sexual performance
The good news is there is help for ED when men seek it. Here is a list of treatment options for erectile dysfunction. All men are different so what may work for one man, may not work for another man. Keep trying until a solution is found. Finding the solution, however, will depend on finding the cause.
- Start with your physician by having a frank conversation about ED and how long you’ve had it.
- Have your heart functioning checked out. Men with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, ED, or diabetes, should get checked for heart disease.
- Consider medication – Cialis, Viagra, Levitra, or Stendra are first-line treatments for ED. A primary care physician or urologist can determine which medication is best for each man.
- Hormone Replacement Therapy – Topical gel, transdermal patch, injections, or long-acting injectable pellets
- Vacuum erection devices – External pump used to achieve an erection
- Penile implants or penile prosthesis
- Relax and make time for sex. Prioritize time to foster your sexual side with your partner to regain intimacy.
Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy. Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncolo gy and prostate cancer 911.