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An occasional problem achieving an erection is nothing to worry about. But failure to do so more than 50% of the time at any age may indicate a condition that needs treatment. Are you at risk for erectile dysfunction (ED)? Take the following quiz and find out.
- Are you overweight? Yes or No
- Do you have any of the following conditions?
- High cholesterol
- Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries from plaque)
- Kidney disease
- Do you:
- Drink alcohol
- Use recreational drugs
- How often do you exercise?
- Once or twice a week
- A couple of times a month
- I never seem to get around to it
- How often do you feel stressed?
- Much of the time
- Overweight men are more likely to have ED
- Common causes of ED include nerve diseases, psychological conditions and diseases that affect blood flow. A number of prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs may also cause ED by affecting a man’s hormones, nerves or blood circulation
- Tobacco, alcohol and recreational drugs can all damage a man’s blood vessels and/or restrict blood flow to the penis, causing ED
- Regular exercise can reduce the risk of ED
- Stress and anxiety are leading causes of temporary ED
Questions to Ask Your Doctor
- Does my erectile dysfunction stem from an underlying illness?
- Could any of my medicines be causing this problem or making it worse?
- Could stress or a psychological problem be to blame for my erection difficulties?
- Are there medications I can take?
Did You Know?
- Misinformation about erectile dysfunction includes the notion that ED, also called impotence, is an unavoidable consequence of aging. ED is not considered normal at any age, nor is it normal for a man to lose erectile function completely as a result of being older.
- Another myth is that tight underwear causes ED. While physical and psychological conditions can lead to ED, tight underwear is not to blame. Tight underwear may be a factor in producing a low sperm count.
- ED can be treated with oral medications, sex therapy, penile injections and surgery, such as penile implants.
- Intercavernous injection therapy is a medication injected directly into the penis to treat ED.
- Intraurethral therapy is a suppository medication that is inserted into the urethra to treat ED.
- Urologist is a doctor specially trained to treat problems of the male and female urinary systems, and the male sex organs.
Know Your Numbers
- At least 20 million American men have some degree of erectile dysfunction, and about one in 10 adult males suffers from ED long-term.
- About 40% of men in their 40s report at least occasional problems getting and maintaining erections. So do more than half (52%) of men aged 40 to 70, and about 70% of men in their 70s.
- Failure to achieve an erection less than 20% of the time is not unusual; treatment is rarely needed.
- Atherosclerosis alone accounts for 50% to 60% of ED cases in men 60 and older. Between 35% and 50% of men with diabetes have ED, and ED may be a predictor for other vascular problems.