Talking About Erectile Dysfunction


Jason Sellers, MD

It’s not easy to talk about erectile dysfunction. Yet, this common condition affects millions of men of all ages, causing emotional distress and relationship issues. Here we will shed light on the causes, symptoms, and treatments of erectile dysfunction to help you understand and manage this undertreated condition.

What is erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection firm enough for sexual activity. It’s a common condition that can affect men of all ages, although it’s more prevalent in older men. ED can be occasional or frequent, and it may also be a sign of an underlying physical or mental health condition.

Who is at risk for getting ED?

ED can happen to any man, but there are several risk factors that can make it more likely to occur. These include:

  • Age: ED becomes more common as men age, with around 40% of men over 40 experiencing some degree of ED.
  • Medical conditions: Certain health conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and prostate cancer, can increase the risk of developing ED.
  • Lifestyle factors: Lifestyle habits such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and drug use can contribute to ED.
  • Psychological factors: Anxiety, depression, and relationship problems can cause or worsen ED, and are especially common in younger individuals with ED.

What are the treatments for ED?

The treatment for ED depends on the underlying cause. If it’s due to an underlying medical condition, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, treating those conditions may improve ED. Lifestyle changes such as exercising, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol intake, and managing stress through therapy may also help.

Oral medications are the most common treatment for ED. Medications like sildenafil (generic Viagra) work by increasing blood flow to the penis, making it easier to achieve and maintain an erection. The most common side effects can include headache, flushing, or upset stomach. It is very important to tell your doctor about other medications you are taking, as ED treatments should not be combined with certain medications, such as nitrates.

What will my doctor think?

Talking to your doctor about ED may be intimidating, but it’s essential to get the help you need. You can be assured that your Radish Health doctor is here to help, has helped countless other patients with ED, and will be an approachable and non-judgmental source of education and guidance in navigating ED treatments. Please feel free to schedule an appointment to talk about this very common condition.

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