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Mediaplanet: What lifestyle habits are associated with ED?
Mark Schneider: While even healthy men can suffer from erectile dysfunction, there are some common known causes. These include excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, poor nutrition, sedentary life style, excessive use of illegal drugs and prescription medications. In addition to “environmental” factors, erectile dysfunction can also be caused by emotional challenges, such as relationship issues, stress and psychological issues.
MP: What medical conditions are associated with ED?
MS: There are dozens of known medical conditions that can cause ED but some of the most common are prostate cancer, diabetes, high/low blood pressure, heart disease, atherosclerosis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, peyronie’s disease, enlarged prostate and low testosterone.
MP: Why should men be concerned about their sexual dysfunction?
MS: Erectile dysfunction may be a sign of underlying psychical or mental problems. Regardless from possible medical issues, ED can diminish the male quality of life. ED greatly affects a male’s self-esteem, self worth and places deep stress on relationships. In some cases it can lead to depression, anti-social behavior and in rare instances, suicide.
MP: What are some of the first steps men should take when they realize they have erectile dysfunction?
MS: The first step is to make important lifestyle changes. This includes eating healthy foods, reducing or eliminating alcohol intake, quitting smoking, losing excessive body weight, beginning to exercise and do your best to obtain eight hours of sleep per night.
Because men need to be physically and mentally capable to have an erection, it is important to consider the emotional state of oneself. This may include unresolved emotional challenges and or post traumatic stress from past or present events. A man may also experience indirect resentment towards their partner due to lack of self-confidence. It is critical to have open communication with your partner regarding the challenges of erectile dysfunction. Talk therapy has also proven to be an excellent treatment for sexual dysfunction.
MP: What are the treatments for ED? How does one decide?
MS: There is a vast array of treatments available today. Each solution comes with both positive and negative effects. The most common solutions for ED are prescription medication, vacuum pumps, external penile support devices, penile injections, suppositories and finally, invasive surgery.
For men that typically try ED medication but do not receive the affect they were hoping for and or they experience extreme or negative side effects, it is common to attempt vacuum pumps. For men who find the pumps cumbersome will typically investigate penile injections. In most cases these injections are painful and the next step leads to an external penile support device. In extreme cases the final step and comes with the most risk is invasive surgery.
MP: What is the impact of ED on the partner? Do you encourage the partner’s involvement in the treatment of ED?
MS: It is essential to include your partner when discussing options for ED treatment and possible ED solutions. Communication about ED may be uncomfortable, however it plays a significant part to relieve unwanted stress. Resilient communication creates a strong bond within a relationship for those struggling with erectile dysfunction. With each ED treatment, those involved may experience unexpected highs and lows. It is critical to have a loving, compassionate partner to be patient and supportive through the process. Without this level of support, the male may typically feel inadequate or less of a person. The same applies for the female in the relationship. Physical connection is essential in any healthy relationship and this connection should be your end goal no matter what the obstacles involved. It is imperative to unite and agree that you are in this together and together you will find a solution.
MP: Who should men see if they have erectile dysfunction? Do men’s health clinics offer the same treatment options?
MS: It is vital to consult with an Urologist, Specialized Doctor or Holistic Doctor to conduct a consultation and consider appropriate medical tests. Men’s health clinics offer various treatment options for erectile dysfunction, however they may not offer the same treatment within each health clinic. It is essential to thoroughly research individual health clinics to insure the best possible options, ideal treatments which lead to the most desirable outcome.