Using marijuana can be a contributing factor to erectile dysfunction

Using marijuana can be a contributing factor to erectile dysfunction

In many cases, long-term and/or excessive marijuana consumption has been linked back to healthy young men experiencing erectile dysfunction (ED), inhibited orgasms or difficulty gaining an erection all together. Studies have found that there are receptors for tetrahydrocannabinol, more popularly known as THC, in the smooth muscle tissue of the penis. THC has an inhibitory effect on the smooth muscle tissue, which poses a problem as the penis is made up of 70-80% smooth muscle tissue. With the legalization of medical marijuana in some states, and even recreational in others, it’s important that men educate themselves on the potential adverse effects of marijuana use, including but not limited to sexual health problems.


Do

Do seek medical attention for your ED symptoms

Before assuming that your ED symptoms are a result of your marijuana consumption, you should speak with your doctor first to make sure there isn’t a more serious issue at play. There are various causes for ED symptoms, including more serious health concerns such as Diabetes and heart disease.

Do reduce or eliminate your marijuana intake

Once you have significantly reduced or completely stopped your marijuana use, start keeping track of your ED symptoms to see if there’s any improvement. Keep in mind how long you’ve been using marijuana and the amount, as it might take longer to see any improvements if you were a long-term heavy user.

Do examine your current lifestyle

ED symptoms are a sign that your body isn’t functioning quite as it should. Although marijuana can be beneficial in moderation, using it too frequently or in large quantities can have adverse effects on the body, similar to what occurs with alcohol use. It’s best to take a holistic approach and see if your lifestyle is healthy by looking at your current weight, your diet, and the types of recreational activities that you engage in. Your lifestyle, beyond your use of marijuana, might need a makeover.

Do seek alternative treatment

If you’re currently using marijuana for medicinal purposes and have discovered that it is contributing to your ED symptoms, speak to your doctor or other health professional about alternative treatments.

Do your homework

It’s always best to know exactly what it is that you’re putting into your body. Even when popular belief says that a substance or drug is healthy, you should educate yourself on the matter to be certain. There are different ways to consume marijuana aside from smoking it that are healthier alternatives. Potential side effects of marijuana use have been well-documented and are easily accessible to the general public via the internet, scientific journals, and other sources.


Don't

Do not ignore your ED symptoms

Your ED symptoms could be a sign of a much more serious health condition, so do not assume that your marijuana use is the only potential factor. Speak with a medical professional about your symptoms so that your medical history, an assessment of your lifestyle, and a physical exam can be factored together to come to a sound prognosis and potential treatment plan.

Do not discontinue use of medical marijuana before speaking to a doctor first

If you have been prescribed medical marijuana and are experiencing ED-like symptoms, speak with your doctor immediately and don’t discontinue your usage. Medicinal marijuana is usually only prescribed for people with serious health conditions and for pain management. The positive effects you gain from marijuana might outweigh the negative, so make sure you check with your doctor before making any sudden changes.

Do not self-diagnose and self-treat

Although informative and well-intentioned advice can be derived from the internet, friends, and other sources, only a medical professional can accurately assess underlying health issues and causes of your ED symptoms. When people self-diagnose, they often self-treat, which can be a recipe for disaster if you’re not careful. For instance, taking a prescription for ED such as Viagra or Cialis without first being assessed by a doctor could be ineffective and even dangerous depending on the underlying cause of your ED.

Do not purchase ED treatments without a valid prescription

In recent news, there are have been an increasing number of reports that men are seeking ED treatments through the internet and other sources that take seeing a medical professional out of the picture. The primary reason seems to be that men are embarrassed to come forward about their ED and so want to get help secretively. There was a recent outbreak of fake Viagra being sold over the internet that contained dangerous chemicals, including cement. It’s not worth the risk to take any medication that isn’t first prescribed by a certified medical professional. Millions of men within the U.S are suffering from ED and plenty of medical professionals are equipped to help you out. There’s not need to avoid professional help due to embarrassment.

Do not rule out other contributing factors

This article is specifically geared toward the potential effects of marijuana usage on ED, but there are other factors that could be contributing to your symptoms as well. It could be a substance that you’re abusing or misusing, an unhealthy diet, a sedentary lifestyle, stress, emotional issues, physical trauma, a chronic ailment, or a combination of these. Seeking medical attention is the best way to find out for sure and to get the proper treatment.


Summary
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There has been a scientifically proven link between marijuana use and an increased risk for erectile dysfunction due to the discovery that THC inhibits the penile muscles. This does not mean, however, that marijuana use will definitely lead to ED or that it will cause permanent ED symptoms. Before jumping to any conclusions, it’s best to speak with doctor about your symptoms and your current lifestyle. It could be something else that’s causing your symptoms or a combination of factors. Simple changes could be all that it takes to get things up and running again, so don’t hesitate to seek help.


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Muhammad A. Mirza, M.D.Founder and Board Certified in Internal Medicine

Dr. Muhammad Mirza, M.D. is the Medical Director at Doctor Available, LLC, based in New Jersey, and the founder of ErectileDoctor.com. He is board certified in internal medicine and has had extensive experience as a practicing clinical physician...

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