Erectile dysfunction is more common than most people realize, yet there are plenty of misconceptions and misunderstandings about the condition.
Myths about erectile dysfunction may cause some of the more than 150 million men who suffer from the condition to forgo treatment. Let’s debunk the most common myths.
Myth: Erectile dysfunction only affects men over age 70
While ED is most common in older men, it can occur at any age. It affects about half of men ages 40 to 70.
Myth: Erectile dysfunction is annoying but not dangerous
ED may be a sign of a more life-threatening condition, including heart disease, diabetes and stroke. A man in the early stages of heart disease could develop ED long before he experiences heart symptoms. If you develop ED, screenings are recommended for heart disease, diabetes, hardening of the arteries and elevated blood pressure.
Myth: Erectile dysfunction is all in your mind
While psychological factors can contribute to ED, doctors now know physical conditions also contribute. Also, medications can affect nerve impulses or blood flow to the penis.
Myth: Erectile dysfunction means there is something wrong with the penis
It’s true that penis problems can lead to ED, but there could be contributing factors related to brain function, blood vessels, nerves and testosterone levels. A complete physical examination and medical history can identify the cause and treatment of erectile dysfunction.
Myth: One problem in the bedroom proves erectile dysfunction
It’s normal for men to have occasional problems with an erection. But that’s not necessarily ED. Consult a doctor if it becomes a persistent problem.
Myth: Erectile dysfunction means you’re not attracted to your partner
While relationship problems can contribute to ED, your partner is not to blame. There are many possible causes, including stress, anxiety, fatigue, specific medications or other health conditions.
Myth: Taking testosterone supplements will cure erectile dysfunction
While low levels of testosterone can cause erectile dysfunction, it is not necessarily the only cause. You should consult with your doctor before starting testosterone supplements.
Myth: Medications are the only treatment
Not all men suffering from ED benefit from medication. There are mechanical devices, surgery, counseling and injections that can treat ED. Discuss treatment options with a doctor.