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Erectile Dysfunction: Expert Tells How Lifestyle Changes Can Help

Erectile dysfunction can cause symptos like persistent trouble getting or keeping an erection, reduced sexual desire or premature ejaculation. These symptoms can also be a sign of an underlying health condition that needs treatment.

Erectile Dysfunction: Expert Tells How Lifestyle Changes Can Help

Erectile dysfunction can occur because of high blood pressure or heart disease

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. It is important to get erectile dysfunction treated from a doctor
  2. Erectile dysfunction can affect intimacy
  3. It can result in low self-esteem

In India, erectile dysfunction (ED) has majorly become a taboo as people don't see it as a medical disorder but as sexual incompetence. This leads to the root cause of unawareness that this condition can be easily treated with right treatment and few lifestyle changes. According to research, about 30 per cent of men below the age of 40 years and 20 per cent across age groups experience difficulties in getting/maintaining an erection. However, since people consider it a taboo, they shy away from seeking professional help and the condition remains undiagnosed leading to many other psychological and physical health problems.

Erectile dysfunction does not happen because the man is not interested or is incapable of having sex but there are medical reasons like diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and ischemic heart disease (IHD) or even depression. So, it is very important to get yourself diagnosed as this will also result in getting the right treatment. "You may have to start the conversation with your doctor to get an answer to the question, "Do I have ED?" A personal medical history and physical examination can set the groundwork for treatment."

Also read: Know The Importance Of Discussing Erectile Dysfunction With Your Doctor


Symptoms of erectile dysfunction

The symptoms include persistent trouble getting or keeping an erection, reduced sexual desire or premature ejaculation. These symptoms can also be a sign of an underlying health condition that needs treatment. So, one should not be embarrassed and must consult the doctor as treating an underlying condition is sufficient to reverse ED

Treatment options for erectile dysfunction

ED can affect your daily life, affect intimacy, contribute to low self-esteem and impact personal relationships. However, the good news is that ED can be treated with medications or with penile prosthesis, and treatment varies depending on the severity of the condition.

Quite often, oral medications might be the only treatment required and men can resume normal sexual life. However, if men don't respond to oral medications, then penile prosthesis(implants) is a viable and long-term option specially in severe cases of ED. While penile implants are the least chosen treatment, it is important to know penile implants are easy to use and men report high satisfaction rate. Speaking to an andrologist or urologist on your condition is the best option as he or she can explain the risks and benefits of each treatment.

Also read: Erectile Dysfunction: Expert Tells Why The Right Medical Treatment Is Important

Lifestyle changes continue to remain important

What most people are not aware is that lifestyle changes can help prevent ED. Exercising regularly and practicing aerobics can be helpful. Excessive smoking and alcohol intake should also be controlled as they are major risk factors for ED. The condition also leads to stress, anxiety, or depression and in this case, you must consult a psychologist or counsellor.

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Following a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction
Photo Credit: iStock

Most often people shy away from consulting an expert and instead opt for products like supplements, creams etc. available in the market, but this might not be safe. Therefore, before using any such products check with your doctor to make sure it's safe for you- especially if you have chronic health conditions. Talking about erectile dysfunction doesn't make you less of a man, but this is all that's needed to diagnose this condition and manage it.

Also read: What Is The Link Between Heart Disease And Erectile Dysfunction?

(Dr Gautam Banga, Consultant and Andrologist, Sunrise Hospital New Delhi)


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