Taking the Embarrassment Out of Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction affects more than 50% of males between the ages of 40 and 70.

Characterized as the inability to achieve or maintain and erection, ED occurs when something blocks the brain-nerve-blood vessel process that the body goes through in order to develop an erection. The brain controls the what we see, hear, feel, think, and smell, while the nerves pass those signals from the brain to your body, following the opening of blood vessels to allow blood flow to the male genitalia (also known as the penis.) More often than not, the most common reason that these processes are blocked is due to a chronic health condition; including everything from cardiovascular disease to diabetes, metabolic syndrome, MS (multiple sclerosis), thyroid disorders, hormonal disorders, spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease, history of stroke, as well as any previous trauma to the genital area. It’s also possible to develop erectile dysfunction as a result of taking certain medications. For example, use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), anti-depressants, and medications used to treat high blood pressure. In addition, one can also develop ED if they have previously received or are receiving treatment for cancer — such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Furthermore, certain psychological conditions (such as depression, anxiety, stress, and relationship issues) and lifestyle habits (such as whether you’re a smoker, drink excessive amounts of alcohol, are overweight or obese) could also potentially increase a male’s risk of developing ED.

Dr. Ali Ghahary is a Family Physician in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. http://www.alighahary.ca

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