Men are often quite reluctant to admit that they have a problem in the bedroom, so they don’t seek professional medical help and prefer to leave the condition untreated, hoping that it’d eventually go away and learning to live with it. Meanwhile, erectile dysfunction (ED) is a lot more common than many people believe, affecting at least 50% of men aged over 40, and less than one-half of them decide to consult their healthcare provider about their inability to develop and maintain an erection.
Is it safe to ignore erectile dysfunction and just leave it unattended? It might seem that ED does not have any significant impact on general health and well-being, but in reality, this assumption is far from the truth. Keep reading this article to find out about the consequences of untreated erectile dysfunction for male sexual, psychological, and physiological health.
Psychological Complications of ED
Sexual health is crucial to leading a full life, and when it becomes affected by ED, many men feel depressed and quickly lose self-confidence. It is quite common for older men to experience ED symptoms from time to time, and it causes them to become apprehensive and unsure about their sexual potential, which might grow into a serious psychological issue with time. What’s more, ED is no longer an attribute of “growing older”, as medical evidence suggests that the numbers of ED-affected men aged between 20 and 40 are rising steadily. This might be due to such erectile dysfunction causes as the stressfulness of modern life, unhealthy lifestyle choices or underlying medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disorders.
Men who choose to do nothing about their delicate problem often end up fearing sexual activities, and eventually start avoiding them. Naturally, this cannot go unnoticed by their sexual partners, and their romantic relationships gradually start to deteriorate. ED problems might be easier to deal with for older men because they already have a certain level of trust with their partners, so it is easier to discuss their sexual problems and try to work out a solution together. In addition, older men are not faced with the need to start a family and make their partners pregnant. These factors might relieve some of the ED-related stress experienced by the man, and make it easier for him to accept this health issue and seek treatment for it.
However, when a man experiences erectile dysfunction at 30 (or even as early as 20, for that matter), he is bound to feel the consequences in a lot more ways. First of all, his self-esteem suffers greatly because he definitely did not expect to encounter erectile problems so early in his life. Second, he might be under a certain deal of pressure from his partner to get her pregnant, which is obviously not helping him to come to terms with the sudden onset of ED. Third, as a rule, the younger a couple is, the more active their sex life is, so younger ED patients might also feel guilty and depressed about their fault in the sudden interruption to their normal sexual activities. Finally, younger men also tend to feel a lot more ashamed and defensive of their erectile difficulties compared to ED patients aged over 50. These feelings make them want to hide their ED symptoms, and since it is hardly possible, they grow resentful of the relationship, their partner, and themselves.
All in all, the psychological complications of ED are quite serious and might lead to serious cases of depression and anxiety. Men who choose to hide or ignore their erectile problems put themselves under a lot of pressure and stress which could have been avoided if he were to seek professional medical help.
Physiological Consequences of Untreated ED
While the range of psychological ED complications is quite broad, leaving ED untreated will generally not cause any long-term damage to the physiological aspect of male health. However, it is important to understand that erectile difficulties are often a sign of an underlying health problem, which might be a lot more dangerous than ED itself. For instance, studies have found that men who have ED are two to three times more likely to have cardiovascular problems than other men of the same age who do not have ED. The erectile dysfunction diabetes connection is also quite frequent, as diabetes impacts the blood flow.
Why is there apparently a connection between ED and cardiovascular health? To answer that, one would have to be familiar with the physiological mechanism that enables an erection. After the penis receives sexual stimulation, it reports to the brain, which in its turn, “decides” that the penis has to respond to the stimulation and become erect. The brain then directs and initiates various processes in the body which contribute to an erection.
So what exactly is an erection? In a nutshell, getting an erection means that a special area of the penis becomes filled with blood, which “supports” the organ and prompts it to go up. When a man receives sexual stimulation, his brain launches the production of chemicals which make sure that the blood flow to the penis is increased. At the same time, the muscles in the penis are prompted to relax, and the blood flows freely into the corpus cavernosum – a “spongy” area of the penis which is specifically meant to receive the inflow of blood during an erection.
As you can see, the ability to develop and maintain an erection is largely dependent on the health of the cardiovascular system. If the blood vessels in the body are somehow impaired, they can and will make the delivery of blood to the penis complicated. The damage to the blood vessels can be associated with atherosclerosis (the buildup of plaques in major blood vessels) and endothelial dysfunction (a disorder that affects the inner lining of blood vessels). Both these conditions can lead to serious damage to the cardiovascular system, as they prevent the heart (and eventually, the other organs) from getting enough blood and oxygen.
A man who has ED does not necessarily have an underlying heart or blood flow disorder, but it is definitely a good idea to consult a healthcare provider and make sure that the functioning of the cardiovascular system is in proper condition. It is a particularly crucial measure in younger men who seem to get ED out of nowhere, as it is highly likely that their erectile problems are linked to the deterioration of their cardiovascular health. In such cases, addressing the blood vessels, the heart, and/or the blood flow disorders will also help treat ED or at least minimize its symptoms. Remember that finding a safe, working cure for erectile dysfunction is only possible after determining its cause and gathering enough information about your medical history, lifestyle choices, and current intake of pharmaceuticals.
While it is up to every man to seek professional medical help for his ED or just leave it untreated, medical evidence definitely proves that leaving erectile problems unattended might lead to a number of negative consequences both for one’s psychological and physiological health. Discovering the reason behind ED will help not only improve male sexual performance but also address an issue that might cause further damage to the body and the mind unless it is diagnosed and treated in due time. So, if you’re one of those men who prefer to ignore their ED or simply get some ED pills online and skip the visit to a medical practitioner, you’d better change your mind and take the first step towards improving your sexual and general health by scheduling an appointment with your doctor.
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