Erectile dysfunction (ED) can be a very depressing and anxiety-inducing condition for both individuals and couples to go through. Although there are many underlying causes of ED — from physiological to psychological — dealing with the condition is largely the same. By getting yourself diagnosed, medication and changes to lifestyle can be easily recommended, but as a first step, communication and understanding is required between a couple to help deal with the condition. Here we look at some steps individuals and couples can take to cope with ED.
The first port of call is a medical diagnosis so as to understand the root causes of ED and whether it’s to do with physical issues such as nerves and blood flow, or with psychological issues such as depression, anxiety or stress. Both are treatable with medication that encourages blood flow. Furthermore, individuals already on medication — particularly blood pressure medication and steroids — may find that their ED is actually a side effect. This arena is for medical professionals to diagnose, and you shouldn’t be scared about talking to your GP about your issues. Common medication may include PDE-5 inhibitors like Cialis, Viagra, Levitra or Spedra.
2. Lifestyle and Dietary Changes
One of the most successful antidotes to both physiological and psychological ED is a change of lifestyle and diet. Eating a healthy diet may help lower cholesterol and combat causes of ED, like high blood pressure and diabetes. More so, smoking is known to impact blood flow, leading to ED. In general, exercising more by staying active helps reduce stress levels and waist lines; two common contributors to ED. Although you may not realise your lifestyle is related to ED, following new dietary and exercise regimes often leads to better erections in general. By sticking to regular exercise routines, you’re more likely to combat ED for good. Because stress is such a proven proponent and cause of ED, it is important to remove as many stressful situations from your life as possible. Some have found Yoga and Meditation as a means of doing this – and it works particularly well when practiced as a couple.
ED can create a cycle of psychological issues in patients because it leads to further depression and anxiety. Sex therapy is a form of counselling that helps individuals cope with erectile dysfunction by highlighting the causes — such as depression — which feed ED and talking through the anxieties associated with the condition. This is even more important in couples, to create understanding and prevent the affixation of blame. What’s more, psychological causes of ED can affect anyone, particularly when experienced at a younger age. Counsellors can help people overcome their erectile dysfunction and related issues by understanding the causes of stress.
4. Alternative and Herbal Medicine
Alternative medicine can be a tricky one to assess, but there are many testimonials for herbal remedies or alternative practices. In truth, many reach out to herbal medicine because it bypasses the doctor and helps navigate perceived embarrassment. None are proven to work, and you should always check their safety against any underlying conditions. There is some anecdotal evidence that Arginine, Citrulline, Ginseng. Yohimbine, Horny goat weed, Maca, Zinc, Vitamin E and Watermelon, both in supplements and dietary additions, may help combat ED.
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