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Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Erectile Dysfunction* (*But Were Afraid To Ask)

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So you have a chance to get laid but you’ve got no wood in the lumber yard and you’ve got too much manly pride to face up to it. Or down to it.

You don’t want to tell your partner, much less your doctor, the one who gives you the annual physical you show up for every two years. You just want the damn thing to work.

Welcome to a safe place. We’re going to help you get the help you need.

The first thing you need to know is there are millions of men out there just like you. Erectile dysfunction is a reality and, depending on an individual’s lifestyle, it can strike men of a wide range of ages, not just the over-50 crowd. The good news is it is one of the most treatable conditions around, with a number of prescription drugs available depending on the individual case. 

Everyone knows about the little blue pill – Viagra – which when released 20 years ago set a record for sales in its first two weeks. For all the predictable Viagra jokes we’ve heard from comics, the fact is it has helped millions of couples continue to have a full sexual relationship, and in many ways Viagra’s notoriety helped erase the notion that men who could no longer produce an erection were somehow less masculine. These days there are at least a dozen drugs to treat the condition and Viagra is available as a generic.

Yet for some men, there’s still the stereotype: You’re not a man if you can’t get it up and you’re not a man if you get help to get it up. 

Time to evolve, gents. Unless you want to spend the rest of your life cuddling and having pillow fights, you’ve got to get some new ammo for that soldier.

  1. Step one: Call your doctor. Or go online.

If you cannot produce an erection, you need to find out why. The main reason men suffer in silence is they are simply too embarrassed to reveal their condition or admit that they need medication. First of all, on the whole issue of talking about it, if you have erectile dysfunction you can bet your partner already knows and may have decided to wait until you bring it up. 

Doctors deal with patients’ fears all the time. You have no reason to worry about it. You’ll actually feel better when you find out what the issue is and how to overcome it. If you don’t want to actually go see a doctor, you can schedule an online appointment with a doctor affiliated with a web site that can send prescriptions to your home.

  1. Don’t assume. While poor blood circulation is the most well-known cause of erectile dysfunction, there are several others and a diagnosis is key to effective treatment.

Sleep Apnea — A surprising cause to some, this is a condition in which a person will briefly stop breathing — for as much as ten to thirty seconds at a time — while sleeping. Research is still underway, but sleep apnea is suspected to be a cause of lack of interest in sex. Fortunately, treatment is usually simple. Doctors typically prescribe a mouthpiece for the patient to wear to bed, which holds the lower jaw in such a position as to open the airway and allow for easier breathing. As awkward as it sounds, the result is a sound night’s sleep, increased energy and … improved sexual performance. You probably could work in the yard longer too, but who cares about that?

Psychological causes — Erectile dysfunction can stem from a psychological cause, and discussing the problem with a doctor or therapist can accomplish a few things. In many cases, the psychological causes can be resolved and medical measures may not be required or they could be prescribed in combination with therapy. If the cause is not psychological, counseling can rule it out and still be helpful to handle the stress that is tied to the dysfunction.

Decreased libido – An overall decreased interest in sex is probably the sexual dysfunction most commonly chalked up to “old age” and then just accepted as an inevitable part of life. Some people aren’t even bothered by their own declining libido but, if you’re reading this article, you’re not one of them. 

A list of the various causes of decreased libido would fill pages, so we won’t try to list them here. However, just as with erectile dysfunction, lack of interest in sex often relates to psychological trauma suffered in life. Sometimes, the stress involved with the aging process is enough to do this to a person on its own.

  1. Take charge. Whatever your condition, there are lifestyle changes you can make to improve your overall well-being, including your sex life. 

A poor diet and sedentary lifestyle are at the source of just about every common health problem. The most common sexual hang-ups related to the typical American diet are or lack of energy and interest, depression, and erectile dysfunction, though all of these health issues can have other causes.

You could start your comeback by changing to a diet rich in vegetables, healthy grains and fruit. Try cutting back caffeine and alcohol. If you’re smoking, you need to stop anyway.

And get moving. Elevate your heart rate 30 minutes a day, walking, biking, running, whatever. Feel the stress melt away.

Such steps will make you feel better. If your diet and lifestyle are very poor, you may be surprised at the boost you get from living a healthier life, especially if you can stick with it at least two months to really see results.

Communicate, make some changes and call your doctor. In no time at all, things will be looking up.

Hop on over to the Manopause Community Forum to talk with other men about everything ED related!

Check out these other great articles on men’s health:

4 Myths About Sex Over 50 by The Manopause Team

Sex And The Middle Aged Man by Richard Basis

Stay Virile, Stay Young: 5 Tips For Giving Yourself A Testosterone Boost by The Manopause Team

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About The Author:

Manopause Team

Manopause Team

An overeducated and underpaid team of writers, researchers and very opinionated men and women of all ages. Venturing into heretofore uncharted online territory, they are dedicated to entertaining, educating, inspiring and uniting men over 50 ...and the people who love them.
Fresh articles, videos, and hilarious podcasts dedicated to the aging man. Life, sex, health, sports, entertainment and much more. Finally, a place for men like you!

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