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Erectile Dysfunction 101: What You Need to Know

Dealing with erectile dysfunction (ED) is difficult for any man. Our society has unrealistic expectations when it comes to how men should perform sexually. This means that men are more reluctant to seek help causing tension in their relationships and possibly ignoring a symptom of a much larger issue.

An older man looking upset as a doctor consoles him in a clinic.

However, ED is serious and, in most cases, can be treated efficiently. That’s why men who think they may have ED should see their doctor as soon as they can.

Here’s what you should know about ED and what you may be able to do about it.

When ED Becomes a Problem

Erectile dysfunction is so stigmatized that even one instance where a man fails to get an erection or maintain it, the incident can send him into a spiral of anxiety and inadequacy. There are several factors that can cause this to happen including excessive alcohol, high stress levels, fatigue and lack of sleep.

However, don’t feel like you’re alone. Most men have at least one instance of erectile dysfunction. When the issue becomes frequent and your inability to get an erection is taking a toll, you should see a doctor.

The Blue Pill Isn’t Always A Viable Treatment

Most men think that Viagra is the only approach to treating erectile dysfunction. However, ED is not caused by any one thing. It can be an underlying issue like untreated diabetes or lifestyles that involve heavy drinking and smoking.

In those cases, Viagra won’t do much to fix the core problem. A urologist will assess all possible factors and causes before they prescribe you anything and will usually try to fix an underlying cause rather than just resolve the symptoms.

ED Needs Medical Attention — Always

Some men think that ED is just something that happens as you get older and that there’s no need to consult a doctor. However, it’s important to address your ED issue early and rule out the signs of other issues that should be diagnosed and treated.

ED can be a sign that your blood vessels are narrowing, which could mean issues with blood pressure, heart disease, or even diabetes. Your doctor can accurately diagnose the underlying condition and recommend an effective treatment not just for your ED, but your overall health as well.

Couple sitting in bed

The Link Between ED & Mental Health

The mental health connection with ED is also taboo for many men since mental health troubles are also stigmatized—so they combine two factors that hold societal stigmas that self-perpetuate. Erectile dysfunction can be caused by pre-existing depression while also leading to depression symptoms.

If you’re taking anti-depressants and are dealing with ED, you should mention this to your urologist. If you’re feeling depressed, but haven’t been treated for it and are now experiencing ED, you can talk about it with your doctor and get a referral for a mental health professional.

Either way, it’s important to address both the physiological causes of ED which can lead to depression as well as the psychological roots of depression that may be causing ED.

People’s Experience of ED Differs

One of the most important facts about ED is that everyone’s experience of it differs. Some men may be unable to get an erection, while others may be unable to maintain it. You may be dealing with a soft erection or be unable to penetrate without losing it.

No matter your symptoms, ED needs specialized attention from a urologist that knows how to diagnose and treat your unique case. At Houston Physicians’ Hospital, one of the top hospitals in Houston, you can find a urologist who specializes in ED and get the care you need in a comforting and private environment.

Visit our website to learn more about erectile dysfunction and to find a urologist that’s right for you. You can also schedule an appointment directly with your chosen doctor’s office.

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