November is National Impotency Month. Awareness Matters!

Impotency, or erectile dysfunction (ED), affects millions of men and their partners. Impotence (commonly known as erectile dysfunction) is probably the one urological condition that men find more embarrassing to talk about than any other. So, let’s speak about the unspeakable on Impotency Awareness Month. The purpose of Impotency Awareness Month is to remove the stigma associated with impotence and encourage men to get the treatment they need.

Erectile Dysfunction, in simple terms, refers to the difficulty in getting or sustaining an erection sufficient for sexual activity. Not being able to maintain an erection is also a lot more common than you might think. Just about half of men between the ages of 40 and 70 will suffer from the problem to some degree.

It is not unusual for men to have brief periods of time when they experience ED. This may be related to stress, alcohol use, medication side effects, performance anxiety, or other issues. If the problem continues for longer than a few weeks, an appointment with your doctor might be a good idea. Sometimes simple changes in your lifestyle can help, for example, not drinking before lovemaking or getting more exercise. Erections are primarily about blood flow, so anything that impedes blood flow may affect one’s ability to get and keep an erection.

Why it’s important to recognize Impotency Awareness Month

Sexual health is physical health

When we talk about our overall wellbeing, sexual health is often overlooked, while it is very important to start looking at it from a different perspective. Regular sex has demonstrated benefits to many aspects of physical health, including brain function, cardiovascular activity, and immune response.

ED can warn of health risks

Erectile dysfunction is often the first warning sign of serious health concerns. It can be a symptom of afflictions such as heart disease, diabetes, or neurological disorders. Men who experience ED may be at higher risk for vascular events, such as heart attack and stroke.

Some of the risk factors for ED include:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Low testosterone
  • Scar tissue inside the penis
  • Certain prescription medications
  • Tobacco use
  • Alcoholism and other substance abuse
  • Treatments for prostate cancer or enlarged prostate
  • Surgeries or injuries affecting the pelvic area or spinal cord

Sexual health is emotional health

A satisfying sex life is an integral part of one’s emotional wellbeing and overall quality of life. Many men find that when they cannot perform sexually, their mood, confidence, or motivation can suffer. Sexual difficulties often strain intimate relationships as well. Although blood flow plays a big part in sexual arousal, the brain plays a role, too. For this reason, psychological issues can also cause ED or make it worse. Examples of such issues include:

  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Other mental health disorders
  • Relationship Problems

Can ED be treated?

Erectile Dysfunction can be quite troublesome but the good news is that there are many treatment options available, including oral medication and medical equipment or procedures. An oral medication is often the first line of treatment for healthy patients with ED. These include:

  • Viagra
  • Cialis
  • Levitra
  • Staxyn

If using an oral medication isn’t an option, medical equipment and procedures may be recommended. These include:

  • Vacuum erection device
  • Penile injections
  • Internal penile implant

How to cope with the psychological effects of ED

Talk about it. Be open with your medical provider and others who are there to help you. Don’t wait to be asked about your sexual health – reach out for answers and help. Start with a physical exam to rule out underlying causes and see what the doctor orders. 

Manage your stress. Stress is related to a multitude of problems and could be responsible for some of your problems. Men who are concerned about sexual performance often stress over the issue, creating even more problems. Ask a medical provider or therapist about stress management techniques like deep breathing, exercise, and challenging negative thoughts that lead to stress and anxiety.

Be honest with your partner/spouse about what is going on with you. Many men feel ashamed of ED and avoid sexual intimacy instead of being honest with their partner/spouse about the real problem. This can damage a relationship and create other problems. If you need help talking about ED with your partner/spouse, consider seeing a therapist to help you with communication. A good therapist can help you figure out what to say – how and when to say it, or work with you as a couple as you address this issue.

Make good choices. If lifestyle choices are creating some of the problems related to ED, educate yourself about ways to make changes that will help. These may include diet, exercise, abstaining from alcohol, or recreational drugs before lovemaking, and others.

Follow the doctor’s orders. Work with your medical team to address any and all issues related to your sexual health. Keep follow-up appointments and implement the recommendations of the doctor and/or therapist for the best results.

ED Getting You Down? There’s a Sex Toy for That!

1. Sir Richard’s Control Silicone Cock Teaser

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