You want to enjoy sexual intimacy, but your penis just isn’t responding the same way it used to. Sound familiar? If so, you may be dealing with erectile dysfunction (ED).
While occasional erection challenges are common and generally harmless, routine and increasing issues meet the criteria for ED.
Erectile dysfunction can crop up at any age, but it’s increasingly common from age 40 on. By age 70, about 70% of men experience it. And ED can appear as a singular condition or stem from an underlying condition.
At PSI Medical Group in Wixom, Michigan, Dr. Robert Grafton and our team treat sexual dysfunction to help you enjoy more satisfying intimacy and relationships.
Conditions that contribute to ED
If you’re struggling with ED, read on to learn about five different conditions that may be contributing to erectile dysfunction.
Heart disease can limit blood flow to the penis, which makes having an erection difficult or even impossible. You might not even realize you’re dealing with cardiovascular issues until you get a diagnosis of ED.
For that reason, an ED diagnosis might help you live longer, given that heart disease is linked with more than double the risk of life-threatening events, like heart attack and stroke.
High blood cholesterol levels may also contribute to ED while raising your risk for heart disease. If LDL cholesterol, the “bad” form of the waxy substance, builds up and sticks to the walls of your arteries, it causes a fatty substance called atheroma to accumulate.
Atheroma buildup, also known as atherosclerosis, interferes with numerous functions in the body, including physical arousal and erections.
Poorly controlled diabetes
Diabetes affects the way your body produces or uses the hormone insulin, making way for high blood sugar. Having the disease triples your likelihood of experiencing ED.
Particularly if diabetes goes unmanaged, blood sugar issues can damage blood flow, blood vessels, and nerves involved with erections.
Male sexual arousal is a complex process that involves not only your body, but your mind. If you’re prone to low moods due to depression, your erections may suffer, too. Research has linked depression with a 39% increased risk for ED.
Other depression symptoms may interfere with physical arousal, too, including reduced libido, fatigue, low self-esteem, and sleep difficulties.
Sleep apnea causes you to stop breathing repeatedly during sleep. As a result, you can develop a range of complications, including erectile dysfunction.
Sleep apnea can interfere with the production of testosterone, a hormone that plays a key role in sexual arousal and desire. The disorder can also leave you feeling exhausted and fatigued, making arousal and erections less likely.
Effective ED treatments
Your ideal ED treatment depends on your overall health and the cause and severity of your symptoms. In some cases, treatment for an underlying condition does away with sexual dysfunction. In other cases, additional or alternate care is in order.
At PSI Medical Group, we may recommend GAINSWave, which uses sound waves to reduce erection challenges by improving blood flow. We also offer hormone therapy, for improved testosterone levels, and platelet-rich plasma injections, for better circulation and tissue growth.
To learn more about erectile dysfunction or get the diagnosis or treatment you need, call us at PSI Medical Group in Wixom, Michigan, or book an appointment through our convenient website scheduler today.