It's more common than you think, and it's possible to be treated!
ED. No, not the emergency department. It’s erectile dysfunction.
Men may not like to talk about erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction can be embarrassing. For starters, how do you even start talking about it to your doctor? How do you even know that it’s a problem?
Don’t worry, we're not inserting pictures here.
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are three common symptoms:
You struggle to have an erection.
You struggle to maintain an erection.
You have reduced sexual desire.
With erectile dysfunction, the most common symptom is the inability to get and sustain an erection long enough for sexual intercourse.
The US National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases observes that erectile dysfunction could be due to:
Certain diseases like diabetes and heart conditions
Side effects of medicines you take
Health related factors such as obesity or smoking
Erectile dysfunction could be a symptom of a more serious condition such as diabetes or heart conditions, so leaving that undiagnosed may lead to other complications in future.
If it’s any comfort, a Singapore population study in 2003¹ of 729 men found that 51.3% of men (or 1 in 2 men) reported some degree of erectile dysfunction. Nunes and his colleagues’ 2012 study² estimated that there are about 30 million men in the US who struggle with this.
Erectile dysfunction is a more common problem than you think, which means that it’s more commonly treated.
Your doctor may try to understand if you are on any medications in order to see if there are side effects, or run tests to rule out conditions such as diabetes or heart disease.
It all starts with having that first conversation with your doctor!
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