What Can I Do About Erectile Dysfunction?
As an adult male, you will no doubt remember the first time your soldier didn’t rise to the occasion. A late night and a few too many beers, and you can write this off as “brewers droop” but for some males, this is just one of the signs of a potentially large problem. It can affect most males by the time they are 40 years old. Erectile dysfunction is a clinical disorder that results from a number of factors including physical, psychological, vascular, and hormonal influences that orchestrate an internal process to achieve an erection.
Testosterone does have a relevant role in the male sexual response to regulate the timing of the erectile process as a function of libido or sexual desire. However, it is not the only factor that we have to think about. The link between erectile dysfunction, hypogonadism (low testosterone), and other underlying factors including diabetes and metabolic syndrome is well-documented. Testosterone is important to the mechanical process of erection, and also controls sexual behavior and desire.
Today, pharmacotherapy using phosphodiesterase inhibitors, or PDE-5 inhibitors like Viagra and Cialis are common first-line therapy for ED for most primary care doctors. These medications enhance the blood flow to the spongy tissues in the penis, which creates an erection but is often accompanied by a headache, lightheadedness, or dizziness. If you don’t think this is the best option for you, you’re not alone. Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) is an extremely effective treatment in hypogonadism in patients with erectile dysfunction, and now with clinics like Blokes Men's Health, is easier than ever to get tested and treated. One potential advantage to the TRT approach is that this could make it unnecessary to take a pill in anticipation of a sexual encounter. Also, men with low testosterone and symptoms may experience extra benefits of testosterone replacement, such as more libido, desire for sex in the first place.
Erectile dysfunction is multifactorial, so to start using inhibitors might not be an adequate treatment in all cases of ED. Recognized risk factors for ED include cardiovascular disease (CVD) (hypertension, atherosclerosis, and hyperlipidemia), diabetes, depression, alcohol use, smoking, pelvic/perineal surgery or trauma, neurologic disease, obesity, pelvic radiation, and Peyronie’s disease.
One thing to remember once you’re over the age of 40, ED can be due to atherosclerosis—the same artery-clogging process that usually precedes heart attacks and strokes. So it should be approached more systematically than just starting with an ED drug, starting with a visit to your Doctor.
If you find yourself currently on medications for hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or depression, it is important to remember that these medications can also cause ED as a side effect. Also consider lifestyle factors like smoking and alcohol consumption, which are additional risk factors. Despite its increasing prevalence among older men, ED is not considered a normal or inevitable part of the aging process. You don’t have to make excuses for your sexual performance anymore, when the occasion is upon you, bring your soldier to attention.
The fastest way to cure erectile dysfunction is to attend to heart health, vascular health, psychological health concerns, and to use other medical treatments customized to your body by a Specialist.
If you are thinking about medical weight loss, and/or improving erectile dysfunction treatments, we have answers. Visit our How it Works page for more information about getting started with Blokes.Co, and see what our Men's Medical Advisory Board and Specialists can do for you.
Dr. Jason Leep MD
Blokes Medical Consultant