What You Should
Know About Erectile
Table of contents
‣ What You Should Know About Erectile Dysfunction
‣ How Your Testosterone Doctor Can Help You
What You Should Know About Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction, which is also known as ED, is the most common
sexual issue that men report to their physicians. ED currently affects up
to 30 million men and is defined as trouble getting or maintain an
erection that is suitable for sex. While men can have some issues with
getting an erection from time to time, erectile dysfunction is a
progressive condition or something that happens routinely in sexual
situations and may require medical treatment.
ED can occur when the blood flow to the penis is limited or the nerves
in the penis are damaged. Emotional issues and stress can also lead to
erectile dysfunction. In some cases, ED is an early indication of a
serious such as atherosclerosis, which is the hardening or blocking of
the arteries. ED can also be a sign of high blood pressure, heart disease
or high blood sugar levels from diabetes. Once a man finds the causes
for his ED, he’ll have the right tools to treat the issue and improve his
overall wellbeing. In general, whatever is good for a man’s heart health
will also be beneficial for his sexual health.
To truly understand erectile dysfunction, it’s important to understand how erections
work. During sexual arousal, the nerves release chemicals that boost blood circulation
to the penis. Blood flows into the penis’ two erection chambers, which are made of
muscle tissue that has a spongy consistency. When an erection occurs, the tissues relax
and store blood. The pressure of the blood in these chambers causes the penis to
become firm, which causes an erection. When a man orgasms, another set of signals in
the nerves reach the penis and make the muscles in the penis contract so the blood is
released back onto the man’s blood circulation, which makes the erection come down.
When a man is not sexually aroused, the penis is limp and soft. Men will often notice
that the size of the penis can vary depending on temperature or stress; this is normal
and is indicative of the blood that comes in and out of the penis.
When a man finds that it’s difficult to keep an erection or maintain one,
this could be a sign of erectile dysfunction and it may be time to visit a
urologist. In addition to ED being a sign of other health problems, ED
can also lead to low self-esteem and depression in men. Erectile
dysfunction can also lead to relationship and intimacy issues and may
lower a man’s sex drive.
There are several risk factors that can indicate ED, so it’s best for men to look out for
these factors to reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction. Men over the age of 50 are more
likely to develop ED, and men should also try to keep their blood pressure at healthy
levels, especially if they have a history of hypertension. High cholesterol can also lead
to ED, which is why eating a diet that is high in fiber and unsaturated fats is ideal. Men
should also work to stay in a healthy weight range and reduce unhealthy habits like
smoking or excessive drinking to reduce the chances of developing ED.
How Your Testosterone Doctor Can Help You
Testosterone is known as the male hormone because it’s the main
hormone that transforms boys into men. When a male goes through
puberty, testosterone is responsible for the development of facial hair
and a deeper voice. The hormone also causes the muscles to enlarge. In
adult men, testosterone controls sex drive and helps to create sperm.
When testosterone levels become lower than they should be, men can
have issues with their sex drive and fertility, which is known as
hypogonadism. This is why a Testosterone doctor who specializes in
treating these issues is necessary. Some men may be too embarrassed to
share this with their doctors, but there are ways to make the
conversation less awkward so men can get the treatment they need.
Low testosterone levels occurs in men particularly after the age of 40. It’s natural for
the hormone to decrease with age, but extremely low levels are a sign of more serious
health issues. Around 4 out of every 10 men over the age of 45 have low testosterone.
There are several things that can indicate low testosterone or cause the condition,
including low sex drive and fertility issues. If there are changes in the testicles, this
could indicate low testosterone as well. Some men find that they are struggling with
fatigue and irritability, have a hard time concentrating, and are gaining weight in the
stomach area; these are signs that their testosterone is lower than normal as well. Some
men begin to lose their hair when their testosterone levels drop and may experience fat
accumulation in the breast area and/or depression.
Men often confuse low testosterone with ED or erectile dysfunction,
but the two are not the same. Just because a man has low levels of
this hormone doesn’t mean he can’t get or keep an erection.
However, he may have a low libido.
Low testosterone is tested by a blood test that is administered by the
doctor. The test is conducted first thing in the morning, since hormone
levels rise and fall during the day. In the morning, testosterone tends to
be the highest. Still, some men may have to take the test more than once
and during different times of the day. After getting the results, the
doctor may recommend more tests to determine all the reasons for low
The normal range for testosterone is between 300 to 1,000 ng/dL in general, but all labs have
a slightly different range to determine what’s normal. It’s also important to note that men
could display symptoms at different times, so every case is different.
Some men don’t require prescription medications or special treatments for low testosterone
and can reverse the condition by working out and losing weight. Others will need to follow a
heart-healthy diet and some men can benefit from hormone replacement therapy. In these
cases, the man will be given an injection of testosterone, or use tablets, gel or a patch to raise
their hormone levels. An endocrinologist can check blood levels to determine if a man’s
testosterone is low, and urologists are trained to see whether lowered hormone levels are
leading to poor sexual function or erectile issues.
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