If you’re one of the roughly 30 million people in the United States who deals with erectile dysfunction (ED), you know how bothersome the condition can be.
Defined as an inability to achieve or maintain an erection during sex, ED can make sex less pleasurable and appealing, interfere with the intimacy you once enjoyed, and fuel emotional challenges, such as performance anxiety and low self-esteem.
At his office in Midtown East, Manhattan in New York City, Jeffery Tun, MD, provides comprehensive care for erectile dysfunction, including thorough testing and effective treatment, to help you better thrive.
Let’s take a closer look at ED, guiding with underlying medical causes to consider.
High blood pressure
Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure happens when the force from your blood against your arteries’ walls becomes excessive. As a result, you can experience a range of medical problems, from an increased risk for heart attack to sexual dysfunction.
High blood pressure interferes with normal blood flow that paves the way for healthy erections. If your penis can’t fill up with blood properly during arousal, erections are unlikely — even if you're emotionally turned on.
Type 2 diabetes
When you have diabetes, especially Type 2, you may develop ED as a result of high blood sugar. Lengthy periods of high blood sugar levels can damage your blood vessels and nerves, leading to difficulty with erections.
In some cases, unmanaged diabetes leads to permanent sexual dysfunction. And this can happen at a relatively early age.
For some ED sufferers, joint pain and erectile dysfunction go hand-in-hand. While the exact cause isn’t understood, experts believe that inflammation associated with arthritis may negatively impact the blood vessels within the penis. These issues may also lead to difficulty experiencing orgasm.
Anxiety and depression
If you live with chronic anxiety or depression symptoms, such as low moods, irritability, sleep difficulties, and despair, sex may be one of many pleasures that don’t appeal when your symptoms flare up. Both emotional challenges are linked with erection problems, too.
An ongoing hormone imbalance, such as low testosterone, may also fuel anxiety, depression, and ED — or kickstart one, which then fuels another. And even if you don’t manage a mental health or hormone condition, stress from your ED symptoms may lead to low and anxious moods.
More causes and getting help
In addition to the above medical conditions, factors that raise your risk for erectile dysfunction include:
- A lack of sleep and sleep disorders
- Carrying excess weight
- Certain medications, such as antihistamines and antidepressants
- Excessive alcohol intake
- Increasing age, especially after 40
- Heart and kidney disease
Regardless of the cause of your erection challenges, getting proper care is important. In addition to getting treatment for any underlying medical condition, your personalized treatment plan from Dr. Tun may include:
- Oral medication, such as Sildenafil (Viagra®) or Tadalafil (Cialis®)
- Hormone therapy
- Medication changes
- Lifestyle changes, such as improved eating, exercise, and sleep habits
- Sexual health education
- Therapy for emotional support
It may turn out that one or more treatments does the trick. While medication alone works for some people, for example, others benefit most from medication as well as lifestyle changes.
To learn more about erectile dysfunction or to get started with the care you need, call one of our offices or request an appointment through our website today.