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THE GENTLEMen's DEPARTMENT

THE GENTLEMen's DEPARTMENT

January 18, 2019

Erectile Dysfunction ED Facts and Warning Signs for Men

There are two words that can strike a unique fear into the hearts of men everywhere: erectile dysfunction (ED). Most guys don’t experience it (except after a few too many drinks), but we’re all wary. You can put that caution to good use. Today, you’re going to learn all about ED and how to keep it out of your life.

What Is ED?

Any situation where your little guy can’t stay hard enough for sex fits under the umbrella term of erectile dysfunction. It can apply to any form of sex, including masturbation. It has many causes, accompanying symptoms, warning signs, and treatments. It can be inconsistent, manifest in multiple ways, and prove tricky to understand. In plenty of cases, the problem is primarily psychological. In many others, it’s entirely physiological. That means that understanding the source of ED is a challenge, and the treatments will be drastically different for each major cause.

Before we get into the nuts and bolts of ED, it’s important to remember one thing. By itself, ED isn’t life threatening or particularly dangerous to your health. It can be the symptom of more serious things, but erectile dysfunction alone is manageable and survivable. 

Common Causes

If you’re going to learn how to deal with ED, you need to know why it’s there. Let’s start with psychological factors. A lot of bad mental states can lead to your peepers getting soft. The big one is stress. That can be generalized stress in life, or it can be stress specific to sex. Men worried about performing, having trouble getting a wife pregnant, or in an unhealthy relationship can all experience erectile issues.

Farther reaching mental problems can also impact your penis. Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and other mental health issues of that caliber are well-known to keep your erections at bay. In these cases, treating the ED is less important than dealing with the underlying cause. Mental health is important, boys.

Erectile Dysfunction ED Facts and Warning Signs For Men

Psychology aside, there are plenty of physical reasons you might notice boner problems. Anything that impacts blood flow can manifest as ED. That includes high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. If you know you have any of these problems and you start to lose sex drive or get flaccid, it’s time to call the doctor. A blood-flow problem that causes ED is potentially serious.

If your blood is doing well, there are still a few other health issues that can impact your penis. Mostly, those would be considered metabolic and/or hormonal issues. Thyroid malfunctions are a common culprit. Of course, anything directly related to your penis can also be a factor. Injuries to the groin area, prostate enlargement, and prostate cancer are all issues. Keep in mind that ED doesn’t mean you have these other issues. It’s just a possible connection, and it’s the biggest reason you do want to investigate a noticeable absence of hard ons.

Additional Symptoms

Like you already read, ED by itself is a minor problem in the greater scheme of health issues. That said, it can be an indicator of stuff you don’t want to ignore. If your ED also pairs with painful excretions or urination, you have something physically wrong with your penis. It could be a simple infection, but you don’t want to ignore that stuff.

If your ED comes with dizziness, lightheadedness or a feeling of weakness, then you probably have a blood-flow issue. Get on that.

The most common accompanying symptom is a reduction in sexual desire. This does not indicate additional health problems, but it’s still not something you can ignore. The change in mental state might not be an entirely psychological issue, so keep that in mind.

When to See a Doctor

In general, this isn’t something you should ignore. At minimum, you have a frustrating condition that can impact your mental state and put you into a stress cycle of doom. At worst, your ED could be a symptom of something sinister, and you want to be in a treatment plan as early as possible. All of that said, there are a few warning signs that should grab your attention right away.

If you experience ED alongside any of those other physical symptoms (pain in the penis, dizziness, etc.), you need to see a doctor today. Stop reading this and get to an urgent care. It’s just not worth taking a risk. 

Erectile Dysfunction ED Facts and Warning Signs For Men

ED Under 40

So far, we’ve covered the basics. Erectile dysfunction happens, and now you know when it’s super serious. It mostly impacts older men, but in recent years, there has been a spike in ED among men under 40. If you fall into this crowd, then there are some things you need to learn. All of the above still applies, but there’s an additional issue that has recently been researched. It’s linked to porn addiction.

Don’t roll your eyes. Porn is a normal part of modern life. This isn’t a condemnation of that. What’s important to understand is that there is a difference between casual observers and hardcore addicts — the addiction is hardcore, not the type of porn. That doesn’t really matter. We’re getting off topic.

There’s a lot of research on this topic. Basically, when you become addicted to porn (which is more than just watching it a little), you rewire your own brain. You train new dopamine habits that can completely change the chemical reward structure for sex. Men who have to browse porn for an hour or more just to get off are building up mental barriers that prevent them from getting the usual chemical release that comes with an orgasm. Those barriers can lead to straight up erectile dysfunction.

The good news is that this is reversible, and it’s pretty simple. Just give up the porn for a while. Studies have shown that most guys can make a complete recovery with just 90 days away from their addiction. Those same studies suggest that recovery is faster if you also give up ejaculation for the period (yes this means no fap). It doesn’t mean you can never masturbate again. It just means you need to take a break to let your body correct itself. 

Early Warning Signs

We’ve covered a lot. Chances are that most of you aren’t already experiencing full-blown ED or you’d be on a different site or talking to a doctor. Instead, you want to know this part: early warning signs. How can you be sure that you aren’t on a course for ED? Well, aside from keeping your porn habit under control, there are some other indicators that can help you keep a sharp eye.

First, a single episode is not a case of ED. Whisky dick is a real thing, and a lot of guys learn that truth in embarrassing fashion. A single bad or particularly stressful day can impact one erection. We’re only worried about repeat cases. Hopefully that stemmed someone’s panic out there.

Your first warning sign is when it happens more than once. Typically ED doesn’t set in all at once. Especially when it’s tied to psychological factors, it’s a gradual descent. If you notice repeat episodes and you can’t tie it to excessive drinking, then it’s ok to have a chat with the doc.

The other big warning sign is a drop in sex drive. In many cases, changes to your sex drive will precede dysfunctional episodes, so if the change is significant, go ahead and look into it. Paired with this is the symptom we’ll describe as difficulty getting an erection. This is super common with porn addiction, and it’s different from standard ED. Instead of failing to get a hard on, you just notice that it takes more effort than it used to. If you have this problem, try a week or two of no fap. If that doesn’t make a difference, talk to your doctor.

Erectile Dysfunction ED Facts and Warning Signs For Men

There are two more big warning signs. Consistent premature or late ejaculation should give you pause. Again, these don’t necessarily indicate major health issues, but they do suggest that your erectile function is irregular. When you have frequent problems with ejaculation, ED might be around the corner.

Prevention

We’re here at last. You’re healthy, you have impressive boners, and you love your sex life. How do you maintain it all? Penis health is the same as the rest of your body. Get good exercise. Watch your diet. Keep it clean. Use protection. Don’t let your porn habit spiral. If you do these things, your penis should be fine for years to come. 

If you keep an eye out for early warning signs on top of that checklist, you’ll stay on top of your erections just fine.

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