Erectile Dysfunction: The Physical, Emotional, and Relationship Effects
Explore the multifaceted impact of erectile dysfunction on physical, emotional, and relationship well-being. Delve into the intricacies of how ED can affect one’s self-esteem, mental health, and intimate connections.
Introduction to Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a medical condition that can harm a person’s relationship with their body and their sex life. ED is far from a rare affliction for men to experience. In Singapore, approximately 42.8% of men in their forties and 77.4% of men in their sixties report some type of erectile dysfunction. Younger men are less likely to suffer from it, but 5 to 10% of men under the age of 40 will still be affected by erectile dysfunction.
The physical effects of ED are easier to comprehend, but the wider impact of the condition can be felt in one’s physical and emotional health as well as its impact on relationships. Read more to understand the emotional and interpersonal effects of erectile dysfunction and the latest potential erectile dysfunction treatments in Singapore available to deal with it.
Physical, Emotional, and Social Effects
Erectile dysfunction is characterized by two main symptoms: an inability to achieve an erection or sustain an erection long enough for sexual activity. This is often caused by a venous leak, a condition where blood leaks out of the veins of the penis, preventing it from becoming fully erect. Other symptoms include a low libido (reduced sexual desire), difficulty achieving orgasm, and premature ejaculation.
The underlying reasons for ED can be physiological, mental, or based on a person’s lifestyle. Health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, certain nerve ailments, and Peyronie’s disease. Smoking, excessive alcohol ingestion, and a lack of exercise can also be a factor. Severe bouts of stress or anxiety are additional potential reasons for erectile dysfunction.
The effects of erectile dysfunction are not just felt in the tangible reaction (or lack thereof) in a person’s body. There are also emotional consequences that can lead to substantive self-image issues. Here is how ED becomes a mental health concern:
- Stress – At the first onset of symptoms, those with erectile dysfunction may become more and more worried about the situation as their condition continues to affect their sex life.
- Guilt – Because of the stigma surrounding erectile dysfunction, men suffering from it may feel too embarrassed or blame themselves for their condition rather than reach out for help.
- Frustration and Anger – That sense of embarrassment may cause someone to misdirect their frustration and lash out at others to avoid taking direct action to deal with their erectile dysfunction.
- Depression/Anxiety – Erectile dysfunction can also spark a spiral of self-loathing thoughts that lead to a serious bout of anxiety or depression that will also require treatment.
- Low self-esteem – A lot of toxic misconceptions around manhood are centered on a man’s sexual prowess. Erectile dysfunction can be a real blow to a man’s sense of self and hurt their confidence.
- Indifference – Without an understanding of their symptoms or access to adequate treatment, men with erectile dysfunction may become apathetic to their situation and convince themselves that it can’t get better.
For couples who value an active sex life, erectile dysfunction is a real impediment to their ability to enjoy their relationship. But there are plenty of ways for you and your partner to connect while dealing with ED. Here are some strategies you can use:
- Learn as much as you can about erectile dysfunction – If all parties know the lifestyle changes and medical treatments used to combat ED, then you will be better prepared to offer the right amount of support.
- Talk about your feelings – Avoid creating emotional barriers between your partner by sharing your questions and concerns without judgment. Try to keep a positive outlook and use these conversations to remind your partner how much you care for them regardless of the condition.
- Explore other forms of intimacy – Make time for other hobbies or mutual interests you can do together.
- Experiment with alternative approaches to sex – Find other ways to please each other without the pressure to perform traditional sex.
- Go to the doctor together – Couples can receive updates and show support by making doctor visits as a dual responsibility.
- Consider going to therapy – Speak to a professional therapist to relieve any anxiety during the treatment cycle.
- Try to relax – Don’t place too much pressure on yourself or your partner. With proper treatment, erectile dysfunction will go away in time.
How to Overcome Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction comes in several forms – vasculogenic, neurogenic, hormonal, and psychological. To determine the specific type for each patient, a doctor will ask about your medical and sexual history, symptoms, and lifestyle. You may also undergo a physical examination and other tests to diagnose your ED.
Erectile dysfunction can be treated in many ways such as:
- Medical therapy – Phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors and Alprostadil are drugs used to increase blood flow to the penis, while testosterone replacement therapy is another option to treat ED symptoms.
- Surgical Intervention – Penile implants and vascular surgery are more invasive ways to treat erectile dysfunction.
- Endovascular Interventional Procedures – Endovascular interventional procedures are modern treatments that deliver medication or other remedies directly to the penis through intracavernosal injection therapy or shockwave therapy.
- Arterial Inflow Procedure – This is an intervention method for men whose bodies have not responded to other treatment options. A surgeon makes an incision in the lower abdomen to find the artery that supplies blood to the penis and remove any blockages or repair any arterial narrowings. In other cases, the surgeon may bypass the affected artery entirely to connect a healthy artery to the penis.
- Venous Leak Embolisation – To treat a venous leak, the doctor will inject material into affected veins to block them from leaking.
Erectile Dysfunction Treatment Options in Singapore
Erectile dysfunction is a frustrating condition to live with, but our erectile dysfunction specialist, Dr. Manish Taneja, at Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic will help you find the best treatment plan for your symptoms. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our doctor and take the first step towards recovery.
Consult an Erectile Dysfunction Specialist in Singapore
Dr. Manish Taneja, a certified vascular and erectile dysfunction specialist in Singapore, has extensive experience in the treatment of all endovascular interventional procedures and looks after male health including varicocele, erectile dysfunction (ED), and benign prostate hyperplasia. Come in for a further evaluation and contact us to arrange your erectile dysfunction appointment today.
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