Many men who experience erectile dysfunction are embarrassed by the condition and don’t tell anyone about it. However, sufferers should know that they are far from alone.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is actually a very common condition, estimated to affect around half of men aged between 40 and 70. In fact, the medical definition for ED is failure to achieve an erection more than 50% of the time – meaning that many men could be classed as suffering with the problems.
For some men, erectile dysfunction is a recurrent problem that has a big impact on their lives. For others, it only occurs occasionally in response to certain triggers such as stress, excessive alcohol consumption, injury or high blood pressure. Relationship problems, anxiety and depression can also lead to ED.
Studies estimate that 5% of men aged 40 or over, and 15-25% of men aged 65 or over, experience long-term problems with impotence.
The importance of seeking treatment for ED
The first step to solving problems with erectile dysfunction is to stop thinking about it as something abnormal or something to feel embarrassed about. It is common and there are treatments available. The issue will never go away if you keep quiet about it and don’t seek medical advice.
It is very important to speak to your GP if you have experienced problems with erectile dysfunction for more than a few weeks. This is because ED can be a symptom or warning sign of another more serious condition, such as heart disease or problems with blood pressure.
Even if ED is not a symptom of something more serious, it can still affect your sex life, confidence and even your relationships. Worrying about erectile dysfunction can actually make it worse or happen more often. This is because it can make you feel more stressed and anxious, and many problems with ED have similar psychological roots.
So, if you’ve been having problems with ED, remember that you aren’t alone. Simply make an appointment with your doctor, find out what’s going on and seek effective treatment.