Over 35 million men in the United States are losing their hair. That’s a lot of hair loss. It doesn’t do great things for self-esteem, but we’re pretty good about hair loss treatment and it’s a visually noticeable thing, so having conversations about it is fairly standard-issue.
Then there’s Erectile Dysfunction. Men having trouble with erectile dysfunction (ED) aren’t so eager to have conversations about it, even with their doctors. It’s a troublesome affliction, but keeping it from your doctor could have other serious health implications beyond sexual stimulation.
Shedding stigma and pride in looking after the full range of your health is crucial to noticeable problems like ED and potentially discovering more sinister ones that may be attached. Here are some things connected to ED that can be connected risks.
- Heart health: As men age, their arteries begin to harden. This remains the main cause of erectile dysfunction in men as they get older. Decreased blood flow is as much an erectile problem as it is a potential heart problem if allowed to progress. Hardening arteries can have serious cardiovascular implications, and ignoring the relationship between the two seriously amplifies risk.
- Hormones: Low testosterone and other disorders that cause hormone imbalance can contribute to ED. In these cases, hormone therapy is a viable option but should be evaluated in tandem with other related health issues.
- Lifestyle: Any healthcare professional will give you this speech, but it’s worth returning to. Excessive alcohol use, smoking, recreational drug use, and dietary carelessness are contributing factors to heart disease, arterial blockage, and, in turn, erectile dysfunction. A healthy lifestyle minimizes the risk of both problems.
Conversely, certain prescription medications can have side effects that contribute to ED: Anti-depressants, blood pressure, and anti-anxiety medications are among the most commonly associated. When you’re prescribed anything, be sure to discuss the full range of side effects with your doctor and pharmacist.
It’s very rare the erectile dysfunction is a standalone health problem. Sexual health is an important part of physical and emotional relationships between sexual partners. Pride, embarrassment, and an increase in physical distance carries completely avoidable repercussions beyond physical health.
The best treatment for any health problem is preventative care. Communicate with your doctor, your partner, and be honest with yourself. Your health is more important than your pride, treat it accordingly.