How to prevent erectile dysfunction is a topic that many men are afraid to talk about, mainly because of the cultural implications. However, it’s a situation that’s becoming more and more frequent in consultations. The prognosis for preventing erectile dysfunction is favorable for the vast majority of men.
Having an erection problem on occasions doesn’t mean that it’s something serious. However, if this happens frequently, we recommend seeing a specialist.
Erection problems can cause a man to feel under pressure, and can cause stress or confidence issues, which could lead to conflicts in a couple’s relationship.
But, aside from this, if the problem is persistent, it’s better to rule out any condition that you’re unaware of. Apart from that, erectile dysfunction can be treated and, better still, prevented.
What is erectile dysfunction?
Studies define erectile dysfunction as: “the persistent inability to achieve and maintain an erection sufficiently in order to permit satisfactory sexual performance”.
In addition, specialists place emphasis on the repercussions that erectile dysfunction has on the social and psychological health of those who experience it. It affects the quality of life and emotional relationships.
Other research also emphasizes that erectile dysfunction can be “the total inability to produce an erection, the inability to do so with consistency or the tendency to maintain only brief erections”.
In any case, it’s important to know how an erection is produced. We must also know the potential causes of erectile dysfunction in order to prevent it.
How is an erection produced?
To understand how an erection is produced, we must know that the penis has two chambers with spongy tissue, called corpora cavernosa. In turn, these chambers are surrounded by a membrane known as the tunica albuginea.
Erections occur when there’s a stimulus, either through the senses or the imagination (fantasies). Impulses from the brain and nerves allow the corpora cavernosa to relax so that blood can flow and fill the spaces.
The blood generates pressure in the corpora cavernosa with the help of the tunica albuginea, thus maintaining the erection and reversing the erection when the muscles of the penis contract, interrupting the inflow of blood.
What causes erectile dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction can have various causes. Some of them may be:
- High blood pressure.
- Multiple sclerosis.
- Vascular disease.
- Damage to arteries, nerves, fibrous tissues, or smooth muscles due to disease.
Lifestyle is also important, since it often increases the possibility of suffering vascular diseases, as occurs with the excessive consumption of alcohol or tobacco.
The use of some medications can also contribute to the appearance of erectile dysfunction as a side effect, as in the case of antihistamines, appetite suppressants, antidepressants, antihypertensives, among others.
Psychological factors should also be considered, such as feelings of guilt, anxiety, stress, depression, low self-esteem, or others.
Other cases are also related to the alteration of hormones, according to certain medical publications, since endocrine diseases affect the exercise of sexual function.
In summary, the correct functioning of the mechanism to obtain an erection is related to vascular, psychological, neurological and hormonal factors.
Tips for preventing erectile dysfunction
When we talk about preventing erectile dysfunction, what we’re really talking about is avoiding risk factors that increase the chances of it happening. Some recommendations to avoid erectile dysfunction are the following:
- Avoid self-medication: some medications may contribute to the appearance of erectile dysfunction. If you notice that any prescribed medication causes erectile dysfunction, then you should talk to a specialist.
- Get enough rest: not sleeping the necessary hours can generate stress and this worsens the problem.
- Exercise: a relevant risk factor is a sedentary lifestyle. Doctors recommend exercising at least three times a week, for half an hour. This also generates well-being and prevents the onset of other diseases.
- Don’t drink too much alcohol: alcohol abuse is related to erectile dysfunction.
- Take care of your mental health: some cases of this problem are due to affective disorders or conflicts in the couple. If this improves, so does the dysfunction.
- Take care of your weight: metabolic disorders can trigger diseases, such as diabetes, which are also related to erectile dysfunction. The recommendation is to eat a balanced diet.
By following these measures, you’ll be able to prevent the appearance of erectile dysfunction. However, when these measures aren’t enough, you should ask a specialist. We need to rule out several health issues to get to the crux of the matter, and to discover if it’s due to physical or psychological factors.