In the past, ED has always been thought of as a psychological problem. One which only existed in one’s head as “anxiety”.
However, recent studies have debunked the idea that erectile dysfunction is merely a brain issue (although it may play a part of it in cases of psychogenic ED).
Instead, evidence suggests it could be an indication of it being a physiological problem and a marker of underlying health problems as well.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that your erection plays a defining role in your sex life. But, then, how much can it actually tell us about our health?
Let’s look closer at how an erection forms and what it can tell you about your overall health.
How Does an Erection Form?
An erection results from the complex interaction of your body’s various physiological and psychological processes.
When you are sexually aroused, your brain releases chemicals that stimulate the nerves in the penis.
These nerves then cause the release of nitric oxide (NO). Nitric oxide causes the blood vessels in the penis to dilate, allowing more blood to rush in.
When all the blood pools into the spongy tissues of the penis, also known as corpus cavernosum, the penis engorges and hardens, resulting in an erection.
The pelvic floor muscles and tunic albuginea help in keeping the blood trapped in your penis, making your erection last longer.
Your erection essentially results from the pressure of blood, making it heavily dependent on blood flow. So any condition that affects blood flow can affect your erectile function.
Similarly, psychological factors such as stress and anxiety can also play a role in erectile dysfunction, as they impair your brain’s capability to send the appropriate signals.
So if you have erectile dysfunction, do not keep it to yourself. Timely medical attention can save your life. Speak to an erectile dysfunction doctor for diagnosis and possible treatment options.
5 Conditions That Worsen Erection Health
Given the intricate nature of erections, a single disruption in one area can cause an avalanche of associated issues.
The following health problems are often the underlying source of erectile dysfunction, but it’s not so clear cut. Here’s a breakdown of common medical conditions that could be causing your erection problems.
1. Heart Disease
ED is often an early manifestation of cardiovascular disease, found in as many as 50% of men with a history of cardiovascular disease.
According to one study from The American Journal of Cardiology, ED is estimated to precede the first cardiovascular event by 3 years on average.
Men with heart disease history find themselves with lowered blood flow to the penis. It may be a result of blocked blood vessels, a common complication of heart disease.
Considering the intimate link between heart health and erectile dysfunction, medical intervention may be necessary to prevent the development of future problems.
ED is common in men with diabetes, particularly type-2 diabetes. According to a study, about 35 to 75% of men with diabetes mellitus experience some degree of erectile dysfunction.
Diabetes induces damage to nerves and blood vessels as a result of poor blood sugar control. This leads to a reduction of blood flow to the penis.
Furthermore, diabetes can also lead to a reduction of testosterone levels in addition to nerve and blood vessel damage.
3. Thyroid Diseases
Thyroid diseases are caused by the malfunction of the thyroid gland, leading to excessive or reduced production of thyroid hormones.
While excessive production or hyperthyroidism and reduced production or hypothyroidism impact your body differently, they are known to have a significant impact on your erectile function.
On average, over 60% of men with thyroid problems have been diagnosed with sexual dysfunction.
4. High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is when your blood pressure crosses the normal limit of 120/80 mmHg.
Considered one of the most hazardous cardiovascular risks, ED is found in about 89% of hypertensive men, mostly due to atherosclerosis, according to a study.
Another reason for ED is due to the interferences caused by certain antihypertensive drugs.
High blood pressure is asymptomatic, meaning you could be sitting and facing this dilemma at this very moment. Contact your healthcare provider to get a proper diagnosis.
5. Mental Health Issues
Physical health conditions are not the only conditions that can cause ED. Your state of mind also plays an important role in your erectile function.
Men with anxiety, depression, and stress can find it strenuous to get erect.
This is most prevalent among younger men. According to one study, over 85% of men below 40 years with ED had psychogenic ED as the primary cause.
It may be due to the psychological influence of various pornographic media or due to stress from work and financial conditions.
Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction
The best way to treat erectile dysfunction is by looking into the cause of ED and tackling it outright with a medical professional.
That said, for men with ED, there are plenty of treatment options that can improve erectile function and sexual arousal.
Some common treatments for ED include:
- Vacuum erection devices: Also known as penis pumps, these devices utilize suction generated by a vacuum to draw blood into your penis, enabling an erection.
- Penile implants: With the help of a rigid or an inflatable rod inserted into your penis through a minimally invasive procedure, you can have an erection at any time.
- ED Therapy: ED therapy is a counseling therapy highly useful for psychogenic ED.
- RestoreWave therapy: Also known as acoustic wave therapy, it utilizes low-intensity sound waves to help rebuild and generate blood vessels in the applied area.
Do not hesitate to speak to your doctor if you are suffering from mild erectile dysfunction or more.
It’s common to feel embarrassed when opening up regarding your sexual function. But this one small step can help you regain your sexual performance.
Contact Tampa’s Top Male Sexual Health Center for a Medical Consultation
Erectile dysfunction is not only a sexual dysfunction, but it’s also a potent health indicator.
Keeping yourself fit and healthy with a good regimen of exercises, a healthy diet, and avoiding vices such as smoking, excessive drinking, and substance abuse can help you beat ED and other health issues even after you turn 65.
If you need help improving your sexual condition, you’ll benefit greatly from the various men’s health treatments recommended by health practitioners at Prestige Men’s Medical Center in Tampa. This includes ED therapy, acoustic wave therapy, and low testosterone treatment.
Give our team a call today to schedule your appointment.