Erectile dysfunction (ED) has become an increasingly prominent issue among adult men within the United States. Men experiencing ED are more likely to suffer from general health concerns, depression, and an overall depleted sense of well-being. The recent statistics from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) state that an average of 31% of adult men suffer from some form of sexual dysfunction. This is a serious public health concern, as ED could be a warning sign for more serious physical or psychological issues. Sexual dysfunction has a social component as well because it has been shown to negatively influence a man’s self-esteem, work performance, and the way that he interacts socially with others, especially when an intimate partner is involved. Issues concerning physical intimacy are of the top reasons people file for divorce in this country.
So much of the misunderstanding and mental suffering associated with ED stems from the fact that many men avoid getting help from a medical professional due to the discomfort they feel about discussing this sensitive topic. Anyone experiencing ED first hand or through knowing someone else with ED can attest to the need for a resolution to this problem.
The following is some expert advice you can reference to ensure that you’re getting the assistance you need to place you on the path to recovery.
Do pay careful attention to the frequency of your erectile dysfunction
If you are having sustained, frequent, and prolonged issues with achieving and/or keeping an erection, then this points more in the direction of an organic disease, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, and you need thorough evaluation.
If your experiences with ED are infrequent and you are able to engage in sexual activity the majority of the time, there might not be a medical concern, however, a qualified physician will be able to clarify this for you with proper assessment.
Do take note of any pain experienced with your ED
Physical pain can be a symptom of what is called Peyronie’s Disease, which is the progressive development of scar tissue within the penis, resulting in curved and painful erections. If you’re experiencing pain, it’s important that you seek medical help immediately.
Do your own homework
You won’t be expected to know everything about your erectile dysfunction, but doing your own research from legitimate sources will help prepare you for the potential outcomes of any assessments or testing you receive from a physician regarding your ED. Most medical universities have online journals that are open for public use that are research-based and peer-reviewed for accuracy.
Do get connected with a qualified physician that you feel comfortable with
If you don’t feel comfortable bringing up your concerns with your primary care physician, consider seeking help from someone with more experience in this area or someone who specializes in sexual health issues.
Do discuss your ED with your partner
Suffering from ED has a big psychological component. Opening up with your partner can provide both you and your partner with some relief. Without some level of mutual understanding, partners of people with ED could decide to take responsibility for the issue, damaging their own self-esteem and potentially damaging the relationship.
Do not assume that your ED is only a sexual issue
Erectile dysfunction can be a symptom of more serious physical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and potential heart defects. Your ED could actually be a warning that you need medical attention for something more serious, so it’s critical that you bring it up with a medical professional.
Do not let shame keep you from seeking help
There’s nothing to be ashamed of. ED is a common ailment among men across the globe, and there are several treatments available that have been proven to be effective, meaning that you could be feeling back to normal in no time.
Do not succumb to self-criticizing and self-blame
By criticizing yourself you’re assuming that you did something wrong to cause your erectile dysfunction. No one intentionally imposes this issue upon themselves, and it often occurs due to reasons beyond one’s control. Now you do have the opportunity and knowledge to take control by educating yourself and seeking proper treatment. There’s no need to hold onto the stigma of a condition that could easily be alleviated.
Do not ignore the emotional component of your ED
Not being able to engage in sexual activity the way you’d like to can understandably damage your self-esteem and sense of well-being. If talking with your partner and a medical professional doesn’t ease the emotional pain associated with your ED, you should seek help from a therapist. Emotional issues can make ED treatment less effective, and can actually be the initial cause of the onset of your ED.
Do not give up on recovery
There are several treatment options available and the one chosen for you will be tailored to the underlying cause(s) of your ED. If you’re lacking adequate testosterone levels, there are testosterone replacement therapies and products available. If there is an issue with blood flow, there are medications that can assist you. If there’s a more serious health concern, receiving the proper treatment for that will ultimately help you with your erectile dysfunction as well. Along with any treatments suggested, it will be important for you to maintain a healthy lifestyle, otherwise the treatments could be ineffective. Discuss with your physician openly about any habits you may have that could attribute to your ED, such as smoking, heavy drinking, an unhealthy diet, and lack of exercise. These things will allow the physician to make a proper assessment of the status of your ED and when you should expect to start seeing results from treatment.
Whomever you receive medical attention from should be able to assess your health concerns, symptoms, and potential treatments tailored to your specific situation. If you don’t feel comfortable with a physician or his/her services, there’s no harm in seeking a second opinion or going to a new physician for treatment. There are plenty of resources available to ED sufferers and I encourage those who are suffering to seek help today. They could start seeing positive results much sooner than expected.