Erectile Dysfunction

men's mental health

The topic of sex and sexual performance among men can be an elephant in the room. When the question of how long one can last in bed comes up, some men credit themselves with apt sexual prowess. Unknown to their male counterparts, the struggle to “rise to the occasion” is real.  Erectile dysfunction is a common male disorder defined as the constant inability to achieve or maintain a penile erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance. At least 50% of men aged 50 years suffer from this condition. Much younger men are also affected. What are the causes? Is it curable? And how can your partner help?

Psychological factors like stress and anxiety are mostly reported as culprits. However, this only accounts for 10% of the cases. As for the 90%, below are the risk factors:

  1. Vascular disease – 40%
  2. Diabetes – 33%
  3. Hormone problems and drug abuse – 11%
  4. Neurological disorders – 10%
  5. Pelvic surgery/trauma – 3 to 5%
  6. Anatomical abnormalities like tight foreskin, penile curvature, and inflammation – 1 to 3%

How to support your partner regarding erectile dysfunction:

  1. Address the issue with sensitivity
  2. Find time to appropriately talk about it
  3. Seek professional help
  4. Work on your romance outside the bedroom through romantic action and gestures

Even with a partner’s support, seeking medical attention is vital. Curability depends on how manageable the underlying condition is. In case of nerve destruction or trauma, it may be impossible to treat.   Should you desire, explore treatment options like medication, surgery, and vacuum pumps.

You can further manage erectile dysfunction by exercising, eating a healthy diet (preferably the Mediterranean diet), healthy management of stress, and restricting alcohol and drugs.  Regardless of the treatment option, sex is to be enjoyed.  When that is not guaranteed, addressing it with your partner and seek professional help early enough are necessary. It may bruise your ego at first, but getting the help you need is worthwhile.


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