Sudden Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability of a man to sustain an erection long enough for sexual intercourse at least 25% of the time. Having difficulty sustaining an erection from time to time is normal and should not generally be cause for concern. If the sudden loss of an erection continues or becomes more bothersome, its likely there is an underlying health issue that needs attention.

Significance: Losing the ability to sustain an adequate erection–even from time to time–can effect a man’s self-esteem, feelings of intimacy and cause difficulty in their relationship. Talking with your health care provider may be embarassing and uncomfortable, but it’s likely worth the effort. Determining the cause of your sudden ED may also uncover health risks that need treatment–often heart disease or interference from medications are culprits.

Misconceptions: Erectile dysfunction was long thought to be a psychological problem and a natural progression of aging. Neither are true. Erectile dysfunction, sudden and long term, is more often caused by physical issues than psychological ones. The Mayo Clinic reports that as many as 80% of men over the age of 75 suffer from ED. This is believed to be because as we age we are more likely to have underlying health issues and take medications that interfere with normal erectile function–it is not considered an inevitable circumstance of normal aging.

Considerations: In discussing erectile dysfunction the following risk factors should be considered: age, underlying medical conditions, medications that interfere with erectile function, alcohol or drug use, depression, stress and anxiety, smoking, obesity and prolonged bicycle riding can all be considered potential culprits in the cause of erectile dysfunction.

Prevention/Solution: The treatment for erectile dysfunction includes medications, surgery, psychological counseling and the use of simple mechanical devices. Treatment for ED can be costly and not all insurances will cover all options so you’ll walk to speak with your partner about how much you’re willing to invest in your treatment. The cause of your ED and the severity of your symptoms will play a significant role in which treatment choices will best suit you. See your health care provider for options specific to your condition.

Benefit: While the benefit of treating and preventing sudden erectile dysfunction may seem obvious, the most important benefit is the uncovering of unknown medical and health issues that a man may be experiencing. Often, erectile dysfunction is a symptom of an underlying health issue–like heart disease or diabetes. Seeking help for the ED may lead to a longer and more healthful life with the proper treatment of the underlying health problems.

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