Erectile Dysfunction: Is it taboo or health concerns?

Erectile Dysfunction: Is it taboo or health concerns?

Erectile dysfunction is not something uncommon in Malaysia. 3 in 10 Malaysian men reported that they have great difficulty of getting hard enough. According to National Health and Morbidity Survey Malaysia (NHMS), erectile dysfunction or impotence is the inability of a male to produce or maintain an erection during sexual activity. 



Globally, it is estimated that 100 million men having ED problem but even with such figure people tend to consider ED as a taboo topic to discuss as it is consider as an embarrassment and people do not want to seek medical help for this. It is not taboo to talk about ED, since it is your health concerns. Sexual well being is one of the component in being healthy holistically and as we aged our body does not function as it used to be which is why ED is common among men age 40 years old and above. 


ED can cause by various factors such as physical factors, psychological factors and many more. Physical factors commonly  occur among older man  due to certain medical condition that they have such as heart disease, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, liver or kidney problem, Peyronie’s disease, and alcoholism. These medical conditions usually affect the nerves and blood vessels that are responsible for erection which explains why people with such condition are at higher risk of getting ED. ED can caused by psychological factor too. Emotional issues can distract a man of any age from becoming aroused, which includes worry of unable to achieve or maintain an erection, prolonged emotional distress related to economic, professional or social issues, relationship conflicts and depression.


Commonly prescribed erectile dysfunction treatment include Stendra (avanafil), Viagra (sildenafil), Cialis (tadalafil) and Levitra or Staxyn (vardenafil). Apart from medication, lifestyle changes such as exercise, healthy eating, stress management, and quality sleep, will help to alleviate this problem too. 



According to study not all types of exercise helps with ED, exercise such as cycling might not be helpful for ED according to National Health Service, UK, however doing weight bearing exercise can increase the natural production of testosteron, which is a significant factor in erectile strength and sex drive. Apart from weight bearing exercise, kegel exercise which improve your pelvic floor, yoga and aerobic exercise which targeted to improve stamina and overall fitness also help. In general, exercise will improve sexual health as it improve your blood circulation, hormone regulation, stamina, and endurance thus improving sex drive and erection problem. 



Apart from exercise nutrition also plays important role in ED. Study found out that man who have a 42 inch waist are 50% more likely developing  ED than men with a 32 inch waist. Also, being obese increase men risk of getting vascular diseases and diabetes thus contributes to ED. Reduce or stop smoking and consuming alcohol also has shown tremendous good effect with ED problem. Smoking in the long time effects the vascular health, it cause blood supply to the penis becomes restricted due to the blockage or/and narrowing of the arteries thus causing the erection problem. Whilst as for the consumption of alcohol, it suppress the central nervous system that is responsible for releasing nitric oxide ( a chemical that is responsible for producing and maintaining an erection), which is why the more men drink alcohol the more likely men having ED problem. 


In conclusion, talk to your doctor regarding your condition, you might think that your condition is too petty to discuss but by letting your doctor know about it, it gives different perspective to your whole treatment plan. 



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  5. National Institute of Health (NIH), National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Disease (NIDDK). Symptoms & Causes of Erectile Dysfunction. (Accessed on March 2, 2021).
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