Some men see the malfunction as a sign of weakness and shame but experts say the condition may be communicating other health hazards. Picture: Ric Rodrigues from Pexels
Some men see the malfunction as a sign of weakness and shame but experts say the condition may be communicating other health hazards. Picture: Ric Rodrigues from Pexels

Do you have erectile dysfunction? Best to get it checked out

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Jan 26, 2020

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Erectile dysfunction (ED) affects about 50% of men over 50 and could indicate a serious health condition such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes or depression, highlighting the need for men with this condition to consult a urologist.

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.

Visit www.urology.co.za

Farah Manuel for The Urology Hospital

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