Do you have erectile dysfunction? Best to get it checked out
A recent, wide-ranging study found that ED was increasingly affecting younger men and was often associated with cardiovascular disease.
“ED constitutes a large burden on society given its high prevalence and impact on quality of life, and is also a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, dementia and all-cause mortality,” said the study, published in the medical journal, BJUI International.
ED, or impotence, refers to an inability to either produce or maintain an erection firm enough to have sexual intercourse. Only about 10% of men seek treatment, largely due to the embarrassment of discussing their sexual health with a doctor.
Dr Odion Aire, from The Urology Hospital in Pretoria, said the main causes were either organic (physical) or psychogenic (of emotional or psychological origin such as suppressed trauma or conflict), or a combination.
He said organic ED might be rooted in vascular, neurological or hormonal problems. The side effects of medication might also play a role, as might co-morbid diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and depression, as well as old age, smoking, heavy alcohol consumption, obesity and Peyronie’s disease - which manifests in an abnormal penis.
“Sometimes there may be more than one underlying cause of ED. It’s important for men with ED to move past the embarrassment and consult a urologist as it may be treatable. The appropriate action or treatment will emerge after a consultation,” Aire said.
Men for whom this is an issue should contact The Urology Hospital which comprises more than 20 urologists under one roof and is the only urology centre of excellence in Africa.
Farah Manuel for The Urology Hospital