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Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a sexual disorder affecting over 150 million men globally. It mostly afflicts men in their older years, but there are some cases where younger men fall prey to this distressing condition as well.
With how frustrating and embarrassing this condition is to men young and old alike, it’s important to understand the risk factors associated with ED so you’ll know how to avoid it severely hindering your sex life.
While there are many obvious risk factors of ED such as obesity and cardiovascular disease, there are many other risk factors that aren’t as recognizable.
It’s important to stay aware of ED risk factors to keep your health in order. Here’s a brief introduction to what ED is, and some of the not-so-talked-about risk factors of this condition.
What is Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction (or impotence) refers to a persistent inability to achieve or maintain an erection adequate for sexual intercourse.
There are several warning signs of ED. Three common symptoms of erectile dysfunction include:
- Trouble achieving an erection
- Trouble maintaining an erection
- Lower libido or sex drive
Although aging does play a role in erectile dysfunction, it’s not the direct cause of ED.
A variety of neurological, hormonal, and vascular imbalances—as well as medications and diseases—are some of the reasons why you’re suffering from erectile problems.
Talk to a local ED specialist in Tampa if you are experiencing ED in order to determine the cause and regain sexual stimulation.
6 Surprising Risk Factors for Erectile Dysfunction
While there are a multitude of risk factors for erectile dysfunction, there are a few unexpected ones that may be affecting your erections.
Here are 6 of these risks factors you likely weren’t aware of:
Cholesterol is a type of fat-like substance that is found in the bloodstream and all of the body’s cells. It’s an essential component of cell membranes and is used to produce hormones, vitamin D, and bile acids.
However, there is evidence to suggest that high LDL cholesterol levels may be associated with an increased risk of erectile dysfunction (ED).
High levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol can build up in the walls of your arteries and form plaque, which can narrow or block your arteries.
This can reduce blood flow to the penis, making it more difficult to get and maintain an erection.
2. Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes a person to have difficulty breathing while they sleep, resulting in frequent awakenings throughout the night. In the long term, this can lead to fatigue and sexual dysfunction, among other health risks.
Sleep apnea patients’ oxygen levels may drop during the night. This, in turn, reduces blood flow to the penis and makes it more difficult to get or maintain an erection.
In addition, poor sleep caused by sleep apnea can cause hormonal imbalances that negatively impact sexual function.
Therefore, make sure that you get adequate sleep to stay physically, mentally, and sexually fit.
3. Canned Foods
For working professionals and bachelors, especially those who don’t know how to cook, canned food is a lifeline.
But did you know that the same canned foods can also lead you to erectile dysfunction?
Numerous food-holding cans are lined with the chemical bisphenol-A. (BPA). BPA can affect your hormones by simulating estrogen in women and suppressing sex hormones in males, respectively.
According to a Chinese study, workers who were exposed to BPA 50 times that of average American men, had increased erectile dysfunction and decreased sexual desire.
According to a study of more than 3,300 men, those who rode bicycles every day had a significantly higher risk of ED than those who did it sparingly.
Further study revealed that the hard bicycle seat can compress the perineum (the area between the anus and scrotum). This compression leads to constriction of your blood vessels necessary for normal erectile function.
That said, this is not a reason for you to store your bikes at home. Replace your hard seat with softer covers like leather to minimize pressure on your blood vessels.
You can also consider riding for short intervals and taking a break in between long drives.
5. Certain Medications
While most prescriptions come without any negative effects, some may cause mild to moderate side effects.
Many drugs interfere with hormone pathways which can lead to the development of new health conditions, including erectile dysfunction.
For instance, a class of medications known as SSRIs or antidepressants have been proven to increase the risk of ED in men.
SSRIs work by increasing the level of serotonin in your body, boosting your mood. However, serotonin also acts as a sexual inhibitor, reducing libido in the process.
Other drugs that may affect your sexual health include diuretics and ACE inhibitors. These medications decrease the blood flow volume that enters the penis.
There are many more medications that can give rise to sexual dysfunction symptoms. Consult a trusted men’s health clinic about the risks before starting any new medication.
6. Sedentary Lifestyle
Another surprising risk factor for ED is a sedentary lifestyle. Men who are inactive and don’t get enough exercise are more likely to develop ED than those who are active.
This is because a sedentary lifestyle can lead to weight gain, consequently increasing the risk of ED. It can also cause other health problems that can lead to ED, such as high blood pressure and diabetes mellitus.
Consult your doctor immediately if you face any of these health conditions. Also, keep yourself fit and healthy with a few lifestyle changes.
Contact Tampa’s Top Male Sexual Health Center for an ED Consultation
While there are many risk factors for erectile dysfunction, one way to prevent them and a bevy of other conditions are by keeping yourself fit and healthy.
Obesity, smoking, stress and anxiety, and living a sedentary lifestyle are all factors that can increase a man’s chances of developing ED.
By making lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly, and seeking help for stress and anxiety, you can live an active sex life well into your older years.
You can overcome sexual health conditions including ED with men’s health treatments recommended by health practitioners at Prestige Men’s Medical Center in Tampa. This includes ED therapy, premature ejaculation therapy, RestoreWave therapy, testosterone treatment, and adrenal fatigue treatment.
Don’t miss out on any opportunities you can find to get the proper treatment and achieve a happy and fulfilling sex life. Give our team a call today to schedule your appointment.