Erectile dysfunction (ED), also known as impotence, is not a subject discussed in many conversations. Many men are ashamed of a flaccid penis and would rather continue to walk around with the problem than do something about it. This results in there being a lot of misunderstandings on the subject. Time to flush out all these preconceived ideas!
Almost nobody suffers from erectile dysfunction
Do you think you are the only one having difficulties occasionally getting things up (down under)? Take note of this: about 1 in 7 men have ED and they do not all live in a retirement home. Erectile dysfunction occurs amongst men of all ages. Although the chance of struggling with this disorder is greater if you are older, younger men can also suffer from erectile dysfunction.
Erectile dysfunction is in your head
Yes, that’s right. Your erectile ability can be influenced by things such as anxiety, stress or the urge to perform. But ED can also be caused by a disease (such as multiple sclerosis or diabetes), medication or problems with blood vessels. All these factors can cause for your penis to not respond properly to sexual stimuli. Erection problems are not per definition ‘psychic’.
Erectile dysfunction can’t be treated
Fortunately, this is a misunderstanding! ED is often quite easy to treat. A few examples:
If erection pills do not work, then there is still no reason to panic. Erection problems can also be treated in other ways:
- Mechanical tools. Many men benefit from a vacuum pump, also called a ‘penis pump’. This device ensures that the blood is guided to the penis so that it becomes stiff. Another commonly used tool is the erectile dysfunction ring (penis ring). This ensures that the blood cannot flow back out of the penis, so that the erection persists.
- Injection therapy. If you do not want to/cannot take medication, you can inject an erection agent locally through a pipette (the urethra) or a very thin needle (into the penis). The advantage of this therapy is that there is no reaction time and that there is less risk of side effects.
- Therapy. A therapist can help to tackle mental health problems (such as anxiety), thereby reducing sexual problems.
- Pelvic floor exercises can help with erection problems.
- Erectile prosthesis. An erection prosthesis is an implant that is applied by means of an operation in the penis. Thanks to the prosthesis, the penis can be erected by means of a pump or manually.
Erection problems mean the end of your sex life
Sex is more than just sexual intercourse. Hugging, kissing and caressing each other form a great part of sexual intimacy. Many couples have enough with this and are thus satisfied with their sex lives. Apart from that, erection problems are often easily resolved. That is certainly a good reason to visit your doctor. He or she can determine the cause of your problems and discuss possible solutions with you. ED does not mean that you will never have sex again!
Erectile dysfunction disappears when you eat oysters
Unfortunately, a diet of oysters will not make your penis prance suddenly. However, it is true that a healthy diet has a positive effect on your erectile ability. Unsaturated fats (nuts, olive oil), fresh fruits and vegetables help improve the elasticity of your blood vessels and are therefore good for the arteries in your penis. Extra exercise and stop smoking are also good moves. A healthy lifestyle makes you slimmer and boosts your confidence. This is also the case in the bedroom!
Once you have had an erection problem you will never have a normal erection again
If you sometimes have difficulties to get an erection or to maintain it, that’s certainly not the beginning of the end. There are plenty of reasons why your penis checks out of service: fatigue, stress, too much alcohol. However, if you notice that the problem persists and becomes more common, it is reason to have it checked out.
Sources: WebMD, EverydayHealth, Healthline