Erectile dysfunction (ED) is sometimes regarded as an inevitable side effect of aging in men. The statistics, too, seem to bear that out: Approximately 30 million men in the United States suffer from ED, and the incidence grows with age. By age 40, you have about a 40% chance of having ED. This increases by 10% each decade.
Men who enjoy potent erections are happier, live longer, and enjoy a higher quality of life. Men who frequently orgasm have an overall 50% reduction in mortality risk.
Alex Lesani, MD, is an expert urologist who diagnoses and treats ED at our offices in Las Vegas, Nevada. He offers medications, hormone replacement, and other treatments to help you enjoy sex and intimacy again.
Do you have ED but aren’t sure what’s causing it? Following are four of the lesser-known reasons behind this troubling symptom.
1. You’re obese or have diabetes
As if you needed one more reason to lose weight: Obesity and even being overweight is associated with ED. In fact, any medical condition that puts stress on your body and cardiovascular system may contribute to ED.
Diabetes, for example, is a strong risk factor for ED. Chronically high levels of glucose in the bloodstream damage the walls of blood vessels, making them stiff and increasing the risk of
To achieve and maintain an erection, your cardiovascular system — especially your blood vessels — must be in good shape. Erections are created through an infusion of blood into the penile tissue. If your heart and blood vessels aren’t strong enough to pump your penis full of blood, your erection will flag.
Obesity and diabetes often go hand in hand. Treating one can help ease the other. Dr. Lesani advises adopting a healthy diet filled with fresh vegetables and low-glycemic fruits. He also recommends plenty of exercise that increases as you lose weight and gain strength.
2. You have sleep apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep-breathing disorder in which you literally stop breathing for seconds at a time, sometimes hundreds of times a night. Sleep apnea is associated with an increased risk for life-threatening conditions, including heart attack and stroke.
If you have OSA, you’re also at risk for ED. Sleep apnea deprives your organs of the oxygen they need to repair and rebuild damaged tissue. You awaken from sleep without feeling rested.
Most cases of OSA can be treated with either an oral appliance that opens your airway or with a continuous positive air pressure (CPAP) machine. A good night’s sleep helps your entire body function better, and that function extends to erections, too!
3. You’re depressed
When you have ED, it may be hard to parse out which came first: the ED or the depression. If you don’t think you’re depressed, think again: In men, depression often manifests as anger or irritability. Does that sound like you?
You may also be dealing with past traumas, such as sexual abuse, that you haven’t processed fully. Or, you’re having emotional difficulties in your relationship that affect your bedroom performance.
In addition, if you take antidepressants to treat your depression, they may have a negative effect on erections. You may benefit from talk therapy, couples counseling, or trauma therapy to help boost your mood and re-instill your confidence.
4. You have low testosterone
As men and women age, their sex hormones drop to seriously low levels. The downshift in hormones causes menopause — with all its symptoms like brain fog and night sweats — in women. A similar phenomenon, sometimes referred to as andropause, occurs in men.
When your testosterone (T) levels are lower than optimal for you, you may have more than just trouble with ED. You may not even want sex anymore, thanks to a lowered libido. Dr. Lesani conducts blood work to establish your levels of T. If needed, he recommends hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to boost your T and help your erections.
In addition to the causes and remedies listed here, other risk factors are involved in ED. We also offer medications, such as Viagra®, that not only help you with erections but may extend your life, too.
Reclaim your erections and your confidence with ED treatment today. Call our team at 702-470-2579 or book your appointment online.