8 Myths About Erectile Dysfunction (Penile Implants)

Last Modified: June 6, 2019  |   Created on: February 26, 2019
Urology

Erectile dysfunction, or ED, is a condition that prevents men from achieving or sustaining an erection during sexual activity. Because of the myths and embarrassment surrounding Erectile Dysfunction (ED) it has long been a condition that wasn’t talked about. Men believed they had no options to treat their ED and that it was a natural part of getting older that they just had to accept. The myths that surround erectile dysfunction feed into this belief and cause many men to ignore the condition instead of seeking medical assistance. Let’s debunk some of those myths and get you on the road to treatment and recovery.

Erectile Dysfunction

Age and Erectile Dysfunction

Myth 1:  It is often said that ED is a normal part of the aging process.  Because of this myth, many men believe that Erectile Dysfunction is something the just need to accept.

Fact: While it is true that some men, as they get older, require more stimulation to become aroused than they did in their younger years, it is NOT true that ED is a natural part of getting older.  Although ED is more common in older males, many men stay sexually active until very late in life.  Erectile dysfunction is NOT normal.

MYTH 2: Many believe that young men do not experience erectile dysfunction.

FACT: While ED does become more common as men age, most often seen in men 75 or older, it can occur at any age.

Health and Erectile Dysfunction

MYTH 3: It is often thought that ED, while embarrassing and upsetting, is not dangerous to one’s health.

FACT: While erectile dysfunction itself isn’t life threatening it can be a sign that a more serious health condition exists.  For example, ED can be an early warning of heart problems or diabetes.  If you are experiencing Ed it is vital that you see a doctor as soon as possible.  Your medical professional can help find the cause of your ED and find a treatment that may restore your sexual activity.  They will also be able to identify if the ED is a sign of a more critical condition that requires treatment immediately.

MYTH 4:  Do you believe that if you have diabetes that you can’t avoid erectile dysfunction?

FACT: It is true that diabetes can be a contributing factor in ED. however, if diabetes is properly treated and controlled there is no reason that it should prevent you from enjoying an active sex life.

MYTH 5: Some people believe that erectile dysfunction occurs because you have lost interest in your partner or no longer find them attractive.

FACT: A lack of attraction to your partner may play a part in being able to achieve an erection when you are with your partner.  If you are self-conscious, stressed or anxious when you are with your partner this can also lead to an inability to perform.  However, this would NOT be a contributing factor in your overall ability to achieve an erection.  Many medical conditions can lead to ED problems including:

  • High Blood Pressure 
  • Heart Problems
  • Diabetes 
  • Medications 
  • Nerve disorders 
  • Hormone problems
  • Stress, Depression, and anxiety  
  • Alcohol and Tobacco use
  • Surgeries involving the prostate or bladder

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Clothing and Erectile Dysfunction

MYTH 6:  It has long been thought that tight clothing can be a contributing cause to ED.  

FACT:  While doctors often suggest looser fitting pants or under ware to men who are seeking to increase their fertility, tight clothing is NOT a contributing factor in erectile dysfunction.

Erectile Dysfunction Treatment

MYTH 7:  It has long been thought that medication is the only way to treat erectile dysfunction.

FACT:  Although there are numerous medications on the market that treat ED and are effective for many men, pills are NOT the only treatment option available.  Some of these options include:

  • Treatment of Underlying Health Conditions:  There may be a preexisting health condition, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart problems, that is contributing to your ED.  If this is the case, then receiving treatment to alleviate your medical condition may also resolve your ED issues.
  • Change of Medication:  Some medications that are used to treat blood pressure, heart problems, depression, and other conditions may contribute to erectile dysfunction.  Speak to your medical professional about your concerns and whether a change in medication may help.  NOTE:  Never change or stop your existing medication without consulting your doctor.
  • Make Changes in your Lifestyle:  Some of the lifestyle choices we make can lead to ED issues.  Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and being overweight can all contribute to this condition.  Consider making positive lifestyle changes to restore your normal sexual activity.
  • Seek the Assistance of a Mental Health Professional:  For many men, erectile dysfunction is caused by stress and anxiety.  If you are experiencing high levels of stress and anxiety in your life due to money issues, job demands, or other concerns, seek the advice of a mental health professional to find ways to control and reduce your stress levels.
  • Medical Intervention:  If other treatments are ineffective in treating ED there are medical interventions such as vacuum devices and surgeries such as penile implants that can resolve erectile dysfunction and restore your sexual activity.

MYTH 8:  Some believe that herbal, home remedies are just as effective a medical professional and that they can treat ED on their own.

FACT: There are a lot of herbal remedies that promise a quick fix for erectile dysfunction.  Using these supplements without consulting your medical professional is highly discouraged.  If you attempt to treat ED on your own you run the risk of not discovering a life-threatening condition, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, that could be causing your ED. In addition, supplements are not regulated and may contain ingredients that could interact dangerously with other medications you are taking or make an existing medical condition worse. The best way to resolve your ED issue and restore your sexual activity is to seek the advice of a medical professional.

Dr. Suneet Singh

Written By Dr. Suneet Singh

Dr. Suneet is a dentist-turned-Hospital Administrator with rich experience in the field of operation management and Public Health Administration. Formerly a dentist, Dr. Suneet holds a post-graduate degree in Hospital and Healthcare management from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)

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