Before Viagra became the first FDA approved treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED) in 1998, many men kept their symptoms to themselves. Today, more men are openly talking about ED and treatment options with their doctors, but let’s face it: It’s still not a topic that generally comes up around the dinner table.
Here are a few facts that you might not realize about ED.
#1 - It’s More Common Than You Think
If you are experiencing symptoms of ED, you are definitely not alone. According to the Mayo Clinic, ED is a prevalent medical condition affecting over 50% of men over the age of 40, and up to 30 million American men every year. Researchers have also found that ED affects 26% of adult men under 40.
#2 - Bad Dental Hygiene May Be a Culprit
It may sound crazy, but chronic gum disease has been linked to ED in otherwise healthy men, according to recent studies. Why? Chronic periodontal (gum) disease causes inflammation that can lead to damage to the lining of blood vessels, which can increase the risk for heart disease, erectile dysfunction, and other vascular issues. The good news is that improved oral care can reduce these risks, so make sure to brush, floss, and see your dentist regularly!
#3 - There Are Ways to Reduce the Chances of ED
Worried about future ED symptoms? Men who lead a healthy lifestyle by not smoking, keeping alcohol consumption to a minimum, and regularly exercising can stave off symptoms. ED can also be kept at bay by maintaining lower stress levels and focusing on good mental health.
#4 - Some Prescriptions Could be Causing ED
For those unsure why they may be experiencing ED, considering taking a look in the medicine cabinet! Several prescriptions have been linked to ED and its symptoms, including certain blood pressure drugs, pain medications, and anxiety or depression medication. Consult with your doctor if you have any doubts or suspicions about the effects of your medications. Do not stop taking any prescribed medications without speaking to a physician first!
#5 - ED Can Be a Sign of Another Health Problem
In some cases, ED can be the first sign of more severe health problems, like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or a neurological disorder. Because of this, men should speak with their physician if they begin experiencing any symptoms of ED. Treating the underlying cause of ED can improve your overall health and decrease any ED symptoms.
#6 - ED Doesn’t Mean Low Libido
Men sometimes associate ED and its symptoms with a lack of sexual desire or lowered libido. But low testosterone isn’t typically the reason or cause of ED. ED is caused by the lack of blood flow to the penis, which happens mostly due to other physical or psychological conditions.
#7 - Emotions Can Play a Role in ED
While physical causes are one of the primary factors associated with ED, psychological ones can play an important role as well. Anxiety and depression, and some medication that treats them, can contribute to ED. Other feelings, like stress or fear of intimacy, have also been linked to ED.
#8 - Non-FDA Approved Medicine Can Be Harmful
Since 2004, the FDA has been investigating dietary supplements or online cures for ED. They’ve revealed that several of these treatments can potentially contain harmful ingredients or undisclosed chemicals. The best option is to go with FDA approved medicines, such as Cialis (Tadalafil) or Viagra (Sildenafil). Always be sure to talk with a doctor about which ED treatment is best for you.
Free Guide: Understanding Your Options
#9 - There Are Numerous Options to Help ED Symptoms
Medications, such as Viagra or Cialis, are commonly used to treat ED, but other options are available as well. Sometimes a simple change in lifestyle is all it takes, or treating any underlying conditions that could be contributing. Other options for treatment include injections, vacuum devices, or implants. Be sure to carefully review your medical and surgical history with your doctor to determine which option is the best for you.
There’s a lot to know about ED. But when it comes down to it, knowing all the facts – even the surprising ones – can help you make an informed decision about treating your ED.