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5 Frequently Asked Questions About Erectile Dysfunction Answered

How can I tell if my ED is physical rather than mental?

To determine whether physical or mental factors cause your ED, your vascular surgeon will likely inquire about your erectile dysfunction symptoms and your medical history, perform a physical examination, and may order some tests. There are a number of risk factors that may contribute to ED, including:

  • Cardiovascular disease: ED can be a symptom of underlying cardiovascular disease such as heart problems and blockage of the arteries in the legs.
  • Diabetes: Diabetes can damage blood vessels and nerves, leading to ED.
  • Low testosterone: Low testosterone levels can cause ED.
  • Medications: Certain medications, such as antidepressants and some blood pressure medications, can induce ED as a side effect.
  • Sleep disorders: Sleep disorders like sleep apnea can cause ED.

Mental health issues such as stress, depression, and anxiety can also contribute to ED.

I was fine before taking this new medication; what should I do?

Here are some examples of medications that can cause ED as a side effect:

  • Antidepressants: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants (Amitriptyline)
  • Blood pressure medications: Beta-blockers and diuretics (atenolol, frusemide)
  • Opioid painkillers: Opioid painkillers such as oxycodone and morphine
  • Chemotherapy medications
  • Hormonal medications: testosterone replacement therapy and anabolic steroids

It is important to note that not all who take these medications will experience ED as a side effect. However, if you are taking medication and are experiencing ED, it is essential to discuss this with your doctor. They can help you determine whether the drug contributes to your ED and recommend alternative treatment options if necessary.

Does worrying about ED make the situation worse?

It is common for men who are experiencing erectile dysfunction (ED) to worry about their ability to perform sexually, and this anxiety can sometimes make the ED worse. Stress and anxiety can interfere with the body’s natural ability to achieve an erection, leading to a vicious cycle of worry and performance anxiety.
It is important to remember that ED is a common and treatable condition and there are many options available to help manage it. Seeking treatment and addressing any underlying causes can help improve your erectile dysfunction symptoms and your overall quality of life.

Is there anything I can do to improve my symptoms?

Here are some lifestyle changes that can serve as healthy approaches to erectile dysfunction:

  • Exercise regularly: Regular exercise can improve blood flow and help with ED.
  • Eat a healthy diet: A healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fish can help improve ED. You may also try cutting down on red and processed meats.
  • Manage stress: Chronic stress can interfere with the body’s natural ability to achieve an erection. Reducing stress through relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing can help improve ED.
  • Quit smoking: Smoking can damage blood vessels and impair blood flow, leading to ED. Quitting smoking can help improve ED.
  • Limit alcohol consumption: Excessive alcohol consumption can interfere with the body’s ability to achieve an erection. Limiting alcohol intake can help improve ED.
  • Get enough sleep: Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea can cause ED. Getting enough sleep and treating any sleep disorders can help improve ED.

It is important to note that these lifestyle changes may not be enough to resolve ED fully and that additional treatment may be needed. Talk to a vascular surgeon for more information on how to manage ED.

Can ED affect a man’s sexual partner?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) can have a significant impact on a person’s relationship, as it can affect a person’s ability to participate in sexual activity and can also have an effect on their self-esteem and confidence. ED can also affect a person’s partner, who may feel frustrated, anxious, or rejected if the condition is not addressed.

If you are experiencing ED, it is vital to communicate with your partner about how you feel and seek treatment if necessary. Many treatment options are available for ED, including medications, lifestyle changes, and other therapies. Addressing the issue can help improve your relationship and overall quality of life.

It is also essential for both partners to be understanding and supportive of each other during this time and to remember that ED is a common and treatable condition. Seeking treatment and addressing any underlying causes can help improve your erectile dysfunction symptoms and your overall relationship.

Dr Wong is highly regarded for his specialised clinical interests and skills in a wide range of vascular conditions.
Dr Tang is highly regarded for his specialised clinical interests and skills in a wide range of vascular conditions.

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