Sexual health problems are never easy to talk about, but they are a whole lot tougher to live with. Men have been traditionally looked upon as the aggressive sexual partner forcing them to keep quiet about their sexual problems like erectile dysfunction.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a condition where a man cannot acquire or maintain an erection firm enough for sex. Most men experience this at some point in their lives, usually around the age of 40 and over. Globally, about 5% of men that are 40 years old have some form of ED for which causes and risk factors include;
- Limited blood flow to the penis. This could be due to habits like cigarette smoking and illnesses like diabetes or high blood pressure.
- Neurological conditions such as stroke and spinal cord injury result in damaging nerves to the penis.
- Substance abuse including the use of illicit drugs like amphetamines, marijuana and excessive alcohol
- Psychological (mental illnesses) like depression, stress, guilt and performance anxiety.
- Medication side effects as some medicines are known to affect men’s sexual performance e.g. certain antihypertensives
Erectile Dysfunction can be treated at any age. With the advancement of medical science, medications have evolved to treat erectile dysfunction effectively. The use of these medications may vary from one individual to another.
Management and treatment
- Consider losing weight if one is obese.
- Use alternative medication to treat hypertension and pain.
- Quitting smoking and controlling the habit of excessive alcohol
- Always consult a specialist or doctor for a prescription and avoid self-medication.
- Revascularization for young men who have experienced pelvic trauma.
- Testosterone replacement therapy
- If other treatments fail to work, a penile implant procedure may be recommended.
- Treating depression and anxiety
- Quit smoking
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain a healthy weight and a healthy diet
- Limit or avoid the use of alcohol
- Reduce stress
- Get help for anxiety or depression
- Discontinue drugs with harmful side effects
- Have regular check-ups with a primary care physician to monitor blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
At Rocket Health, we recommend having a healthy lifestyle as this helps to maintain a good sexual and reproductive life and reduces the risk for ED. Psychotherapy and behaviour modifications can also be considered for some individuals.
Should you need to speak to our doctors about this condition, simply request for a consultation from the e-shop and we shall call you back.
Authors: Dr Priscilla Apolot and Sandra Arinaitwe