Facts About Men's Sexual Health
Sexual health is a vital aspect of a man’s overall health and wellness, and there are a number of issues that can affect it; including erectile dysfunction, problems with ejaculation, infertility, and others. It’s important to be aware of potential problems that can affect your health, and know what precautions you can take to stay healthy.
ED is incredibly common – and can sometimes be an early sign of cardiovascular disease
ED is incredibly common, and affects up to 50% of men over the age of 40; unfortunately, it’s also sometimes an early marker for vascular problems. Because the penile artery is one-tenth the diameter of coronary arteries, the narrower tube is likely to clog before larger arteries in the heart. Obesity, diabetes, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, and hypertension also put men at higher risk of ED and heart disease. ED usually also becomes more common as men age.
The first solution many men try involves medications or drugs to help with ED symptoms. There are also several non-surgical options to help with symptoms, including vacuum pumps and various penile exercises which help to promote blood flow.
There are many (often physical) causes of ED
The majority of ED cases are caused by physical medical issues. It is important to have your ED thoroughly diagnosed and to treat underlying conditions, in addition to addressing your symptoms.
- Diabetes can cause damage to the nerves or blood vessels that control the flow of blood to the penis
- Cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension and high cholesterol can decrease blood flow to the penis through blocked arteries or leaking veins, resulting in ED
- Trauma or surgery in the prostate, bladder, colon, or rectal area can damage nerves and cause ED
- Neurological diseases such as stroke, multiple sclerosis (MS), and Parkinson’s disease as well as spinal cord injuries can stop nerve impulses from reaching the penis
- Medications, including some for high blood pressure, can interfere with blood flow to the penis
- Low testosterone and hormonal imbalances can also affect blood flow
Men and women are equally likely to have fertility issues
Advanced age is associated with lower sperm counts and lower sperm quality, and increases a couple’s chances of having a child with genetic problems. Besides issues related to aging, men may have anatomical blockages, hormonal imbalances, or genetic problems that can lower sperm counts or cause other issues.
There are many drugs and supplements that can also affect fertility. It’s important to determine the exact cause of infertility with your healthcare provider through a thorough physical evaluation, lab tests, imagery, and semen analysis.
A vasectomy is extremely effective, but should only be considered as a permanent form of birth control
A vasectomy is a simple, minimally invasive surgical procedure used as a permanent form of male birth control to prevent pregnancy. During this 30-minute procedure, a surgeon cuts the tubes that transport sperm within the male reproductive system. Sexual health isn’t affected by a vasectomy, and the procedure is extremely effective in preventing pregnancy. It is considered a permanent form of birth control because it’s not easily reversible.
Fortunately, there are several non-invasive and safe options available to help improve sexual health; including vacuum pumps, penile exercises, and medications.