When it comes to erectile dysfunction, you probably would never consider it to be a good thing. In fact, experiencing the inability to achieve an erection and perform in the bedroom is embarrassing for most men.
However, erection difficulties may be the first sign of blockages in blood vessels and can alert your doctor to the development of cardiac and circulatory issues. Finding these conditions early can lead to better treatment and can prevent life-threatening disorders later on.
When should you be concerned?
If you experience an isolated episode of erectile dysfunction, it doesn't necessarily mean anything is amiss. Stress and performance anxiety may play a role, particularly when becoming intimate with a new partner or if you've been under a lot of stress.
Depression can also cause you to lose interest in sexual activity and may make obtaining an erection more difficult. Visiting your physician and asking for a referral to a urologist is a good idea in any case to rule out other blood vessel abnormalities. Simply assuming your problem is related to emotional stressors is never a good idea.
Know your risk factors
Certain risk factors put you at a greater risk for developing heart disease and blood vessel blockages. Coronary artery disease is a result of calcified plaque building up in the arteries. Plaque in your coronary arteries may mean plaque is developing in the arteries that supply blood flow to the penis.
Blocked coronary arteries can lead to heart attacks because of reduced blood flow. Plaque built up in the arteries that supply blood flow to the penis can result in erectile dysfunction. The same risk factors that cause heart disease can cause problems in your sex life.
Smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol, and obesity may increase your risks. If you've already been diagnosed with any of these conditions, you should contact your physician or a urologist for a complete exam any time you experience erectile difficulties.
Why not just take a pill?
Several erectile dysfunction pills are available and are often prescribed for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Men often ask their physicians to prescribe these drugs and are often pleased with the results.
However, you should always have a thorough medical evaluation before going on these medications. Your other prescription medications may interact with these drugs and can cause dangerous side effects. Only your physician can determine if you are a good candidate for treatment with erectile dysfunction drugs.
If you experience erectile dysfunction, you shouldn't assume the worst. It may simply be related to stress or age. Don't be afraid to discuss the issue with a urologist, such as Baddour David B MD. It's nothing to feel ashamed about and may even be a blessing in disguise. Early detection of cardiovascular disease can lead to treatment and lifestyle changes that prevent serious disease from developing later on.