Erectile dysfunction, or ED, is a condition in which a man is not able to get or keep an erection firm enough for sex. Having erection trouble occasionally may not necessarily be a cause for concern. But if ED is an ongoing issue, it can affect someone’s self-esteem, cause stress and contribute to problems in…
Erectile Dysfunction and General Health
Though it is not uncommon for men to have trouble gaining or sustaining an erection from time to time, erectile dysfunction occurs when erection troubles become the norm. ED affects approximately 30 million American men, and though it is often the result of stress, anxiety or depression, it may be a sign of more significant health problems. For this reason, men who experience erection failure should request a thorough health exam to rule out serious health conditions.
Physical causes of erectile dysfunction
Though most people associate ED with age, the condition can be the result of several physical health conditions, most of which require immediate medical attention. For this reason, if a man experiences erection failure out of nowhere, it would be worth his while to consult with a doctor about possible underlying causes. Below are the top four health issues that often lead to erectile failure.
Heart disease and high cholesterol
Health care providers have known for some time that high blood pressure and high cholesterol can cause erection failure. However, recent research reveals that that is not the only connection between heart health and ED. Findings show that seemingly healthy men who develop ED out of nowhere can end up being diagnosed with heart disease no more than five years later. A man who develops ED suddenly and without experiencing any other health issues should have a doctor perform a heart examination to prevent the development of heart disease.
Diabetes can negatively impact a person's health in multiple ways. For men, one common side effect of diabetes is erectile dysfunction. How likely a man with diabetes is to experience ED is almost directly correlated to two factors: how long the diabetes is present and how the man manages the condition.
Approximately 2% to 12% of men over the age of 40 live with erectile dysfunction. However, when that population is segmented to the group of men with high blood sugar levels, that jumps to 50%. Though ED may not be completely reversible after the onset of diabetes, a man can reduce incident rates of erection failure by following doctor's orders when it comes to controlling blood sugar.
Prostate inflammation and cancer
It should come as no surprise that ED is a common side effect of prostate cancer and/or inflammation. The prostate is responsible for creating a crucial component of semen. Chronic inflammation or cancer may make ejaculation painful, thereby reducing one's ability to obtain or sustain an erection.
Sexually transmitted infections
STIs such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, viral hepatitis and untreated HIV all can play a role in erectile failure. It is not uncommon for these diseases to cause infections in the prostate gland, which, as with other prostate issues, may make ejaculation painful. Fortunately, if a man takes steps to manage the STI and treat the prostate infection, the ED should resolve itself. However, the opposite may also be true. If a man fails to address the STI or the prostate infection, it may result in permanent damage.
For many men, erectile dysfunction is embarrassing and inconvenient. For others, however, it could be a sign of a more serious health concern. For this reason, if you experience ED, discuss possible underlying causes with your doctor right away.
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Erectile dysfunction, also known as ED, is the inability of a man to get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. Experiencing ED from time to time is not uncommon. But frequent erectile dysfunction can be a sign of a variety of health problems that need treatment. It can also be a sign…
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