Did You Know? Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

Did You Know? Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

Erectile dysfunction, or ED, is when a man has problems getting or keeping an erection that is firm enough for sex. About 30 million men in the United States are affected by ED. Although ED is more common in older men, age alone does not cause ED.

Did you know that ED can be an early sign of a serious health problem?

E.D. may Commonly be a Sign of:

  • Peripheral artery disease (narrowed arteries that slow blood flow)
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure

Years ago, ED was mostly thought to be a psychological problem. Today, ED is primarily considered to be a physical or medical problem with three main causes.

The three main causes of ED:

  1. Not enough blood flows into the penis. Smoking, heart disease, and diabetes can affect blood flow and contribute to ED.
  2. The penis can't store enough blood during an erection. This means that a man can't maintain an erection because blood doesn't stay trapped in the penis long enough.
  3. Nerve signals from the brain or spinal cord don't reach the penis. Certain illnesses, injuries or surgeries in the pelvic area can cause damage to the nerves in the penis.

Did you know that ED can also occur as a side effect from taking certain medications?

Three Medications that May Cause ED as a Side Effect include:

  1. blood pressure medications
  2. antihistamines
  3. antidepressants.

If your ED is caused by taking specific medications, your health care provider may change your medications or reduce the amount of medicine that you take. Never stop medications without talking to your health care provider first.
There's hope if you have ED. Erection recovery is possible with proper treatment. Treatments may include oral medications, devices, surgery, or mental health counseling.

Lifestyle changes can also help prevent or improve ED. So remember to eat a healthy diet, be physically active, manage your weight, and get enough sleep. These have all been shown to affect ED.