Let's Set Something Straight
Sex may be a taboo subject for some but it is talked about everywhere — in movies, in TV shows, in songs, and even with friends. What’s missing from the conversation is how common it is for some men to experience erectile dysfunction.
Why is this not talked about then? Obviously, it’s an uncomfortable topic to bring up — even to your doctor. The word “dysfunction” implies that there is something wrong. Something atypical. Where in reality, according to Canadian Living, a study of 4,000 men between the ages of 40 and 80 showed that half of the participants had erectile dysfunction at some point.
What does Erectile Dysfunction Mean?
This condition causes many more problems other than the obvious. It adds stress to not only those who have ED. but their partners as well. It can contribute to relationship problems and even affect one’s confidence levels. Making sex as something that should be fun and celebrated into something taxing and aggravating. Dealing with ED men may feel a decrease in sexual desire, trouble getting and keeping an erection, and overall low self esteem. This may also cause further stress for couples trying to conceive.
Erectile dysfunction is a much larger issue than people assume. It can the sign of an underlying health issue and the cause for concern. You may need treatment for low testosterone, or at risk for heart disease or diabetes. It is important to check with your doctor before jumping to find a solution.
What are Your Options?
Fortunately, there are solutions beyond taking a pill each time you would like to perform. The P-Shot, also known as the Priapus Shot, is a procedure that treats erectile dysfunction in men. The treatment uses platelet-rich plasma (PRP) derived from one’s own blood. The PRP is then injected into the corpus cavernosum, an area of the penis that is most important for the sexual response. In other words, it is injected into the penile area to help heal tissues, arteries, and nerves that help contribute to erections.
Another option is shockwave therapy. This non-invasive treatment consists of sound waves that help to clear away plaque out of blood vessels to boost the growth of new vessels, generating a natural mechanism in the treated area.
The latest trend to treat erectile dysfunction is Penile BOTOXⓇ. Where BOTOXⓇ or other neuromodulators are injected at the base of the penis. This important thing to note is that this is not a permanent solution, and therefore it would require a few injections per year.
The Journal of Sexual Medicine published a study, in 2014, that found healthy lifestyle changes can help with erectile dysfunction. These lifestyle changes consisted of regular exercise to increase blood flow and weighted exercise to boost production of testosterone. Your diet can also have an effect on erectile dysfunction. Obesity increases a man’s chance of developing ED, which is why maintaining a healthy weight is an important factor. Diets that consist of fruit, veggies, whole grains, fish, and limited servings of red mead and refined grains, limit the risk of ED. Maintaining a sufficient sleep schedule is another natural remedy to treat ED. We know that smoking has many negative side effects, erectile dysfunction being one of them. Therefore, stopping smoking can help decrease the risk of ED.
Obviously, there are many factors to consider when dealing with someone’s sexual wellbeing and overall health. Experiencing impotence every once in awhile is completely natural. However, chronic ED could be a symptom of a serious health concern.
Make sure you check with your doctor if this applies to you. Remember this condition is entirely common and you have solutions!
Mathieu Bélanger, MD, CCFP, CPSO Recognized Specialist (Chronic Pain), is the founder and President of Inovo Medical. Dr. Bélanger began his academic career by earning an undergraduate degree in kinesiology (i.e., the science of body mechanics) before enrolling in medicine at the University of Montréal. He is particularly interested in pain related to sports injuries and musculo-skeletal disorders. This interest led him to travel extensively for various types of training on pain treatment given by leading experts. Since then, his objective has been to play an active role in the development and delivery of the most sophisticated and effective treatments for chronic pain.