A large number of men experience the issue, but few are willing to talk about it, even with their doctor. 20% of the adult male population and 40% of men over age 50 wrestle with erectile dysfunction (ED). Those who should see a doctor experience ED at least 25% of the time. Yet, the issue fills men with anxiety. Even in our modern world free of the sexual taboos of the past, ED feels like a defeat. Men are socialized to see themselves as breadwinners and sexually powerful, fertile lovers. When any of these labels is whisked away men can feel emasculated and will do anything to cover up, deny or avoid the issue.
What men need to realize is that the longer they avoid confronting their ED symptoms, the worse they typically get. Another problem is that ED may be a symptom of a more serious illness, such as prostate cancer, depression, diabetes or cardiovascular disease. Ignoring ED is ultimately ignoring the underlying condition, which will likely get worse without proper treatment.
There are two kinds of ED, primary and secondary. For primary ED, a man has been struggling with it his entire life. In the secondary variety, a man was able to form normal erections in the past, but later develops ED. The secondary variety is the most common and much easier to address. A man’s quality of life declines sharply with an inability to form a proper erection. It can affect his confidence, mood and other aspects of his life. Soon he’s slipping at work or it takes its toll on his relationship.
ED is a medical problem, but men take it to be far more than that. First, it’s important to sit and think about it in the right light. You wouldn’t view a broken arm or sprained ankle in the same way. Start to regard it as you would a medical problem. If you are in a relationship, talk to your partner about it to gain support and understanding. Luckily, there are a plethora of treatment options available. You don’t have to suffer in silence.
Rather than making you less of a man, standing up, speaking the truth and facing ED will make you more of one.