While it may seem like a taboo subject, sexual health is an essential aspect of life and significantly impacts our physical and emotional well-being. Achieving sexual health can bring a myriad of benefits and improve our relationships and overall well-being; on the other hand, sexual dysfunctions, when left untreated, can be a great source of frustration and negatively affect our intimate relationships.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the most commonly reported sexual health problem among men – more than 50 percent of men above 30 years old have reported some degree of ED in Singapore, with increasing prevalence as they age.
Here are the three most common causes of erectile dysfunction and the treatment options available.
common causes of Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction can be a side effect of using certain types of medication, such as beta-blockers used to treat high blood pressure, antidepressants, and antihistamines.
Recommendation: If you are currently on any medication and are experiencing low libido and/or erectile dysfunction, speak to your doctor to switch to a different medication or adjust your medication load. Never stop medication on your own without a doctor’s advice as it may be life-threatening to do so!
#2: Chronic Diseases
Chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol can damage the tiny blood vessels that supply blood to the penis. When that happens, the blood vessels are unable to dilate to bring in a strong flow of blood to maintain an erection.
Recommendation: There are a few ways to approach this. Your doctor may recommend treatment for the underlying chronic illness to prevent ED from worsening or even reverse it. Your doctor may also prescribe medications like Cialis, Levitra, and Viagra to treat the ED symptoms, which will be effective regardless of whether the cause of ED is physical or related to anxiety.
#3: Mental Stressors
Stress can arise from various sources, such as work, relationships, financial woes, or losing a loved one. When the body is under stress, cortisol, also known as the “stress hormone”, is produced in favour of testosterone. This causes a drop in testosterone level, which in turn results in a lack of sexual desire. To put it simply, having a head full of worries does not allow one to have good sex.
Stress can also lead to unhealthy habits like smoking, drinking and overeating, all of which can lower the libido. For example, research has shown a link between the tobacco in cigarettes and a decrease in testosterone production.
Recommendation: Overcoming mental stressors may not be straightforward. Make time for self-care activities and incorporate good habits to manage your stress better. Don’t bottle up your emotions and speak to someone who might be able to help.
For example, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by work, talk to a superior who might be able to reassign job roles. You can also find someone trusted to talk it out — you’ll probably feel better after sharing the burden or discussing possible solutions. However, if you find that you are still feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope aftere confiding in someone, consider speaking to a a psychologist or counsellor on the DA app for non-judgmental and objective support.
Seek ED Treatment Today
There is no reason to be embarrassed about seeking help to treat ED. If you are experiencing erection problems, speak to our panel of qualified doctors who will support you through private and secure video consultations.