Erectile dysfunction is the inability to form or maintain an erection sufficient for penetrative intercourse. There are many different levels from mild to severe. Decades ago, ED was considered a normal part of aging. We now know it is usually a symptom of a more worrisome condition that tends to take root in men in their 50s or above. The majority of the time a physical health issue is at fault. These include heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Lifestyle choices too can cause or contribute to the problem such as smoking, a high intake of alcohol, lack of exercise, and obesity. A small minority experience ED due to emotional issues such as anxiety, stress, or depression. But there are those men who develop ED from a more uncommon condition. Sexual dysfunction can be a side effect of medication for instance. Many men on statins or SSRI antidepressants can experience ED. But what is less well known is Avodart (dutasteride) for prostate enlargement and Propecia and Prosca (finasteride) for hair loss can also cause the condition, and in a minority of cases permanently so.
How healthy is your mouth? Any sign of gum disease? Chronic periodontal disease including swollen, bleeding gums increases one’s risk of ED, according to a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. How this link plays out in humans is not exactly clear. But other studies have shown that gum disease can lead to cardiovascular disease, which also is a risk factor for ED. Both issues have to do with blood flow or in the case of sexual dysfunction, a lack of it. Is your wife or girlfriend spending more time with your buddies than you are? A study published in in the American Journal of Sociology states that when a man’s female companion spends too much time with his male friends, he had a 92% chance of developing ED. Investigators believe this might have something to do with a younger and middle-aged man’s perception of masculinity. Participants in their 70s and 80s did not share this issue, as their perception of masculinity is different. Any man experiencing ED should talk to a doctor or urologist and get checked out. You never know what might be causing it.