We all know that most men don’t particularly like talking about their health and wellbeing. However, for many, there are some topics that are more off-limits than others. One of the biggest taboos is a condition called erectile dysfunction.
Erectile dysfunction, or ED, refers to the inability of a man to get or sustain an erection for long enough or that is firm enough for them to engage in sexual intercourse. Although it isn’t talked about, it is surprisingly common, particularly amongst men over the age of 40. For many men, episodes of ED are few and far between and in these instances, there is usually nothing to worry about. Occasional ED is usually triggered by suffering from stress, being overtired, being anxious or having too much alcohol. However, if you start to suffer from fairly regular issues with achieving or maintaining an erection, it is advisable to seek the advice of a professional.
As you might expect, repeated episodes of erectile dysfunction can have a significant impact on your relationship. Although full intercourse isn’t an essential part of intimacy, many men still feel that their inability to perform in this way is a direct reflection of their masculinity. You may feel concerned that your partner feels that they are no longer attractive to you, and if you don’t communicate with them, they may not understand that your medical issue isn’t a reflection of the way that you feel about them.
There can be a variety of different causes behind erectile dysfunction, and it is important to determine the trigger for your condition in order to find the right treatment. Some of the most common causes of ED include:
Regular heavy drinking.
Damage to the arteries providing blood flow to the penis, such as smoking which constricts blood vessels and causes trauma to the arteries. Smoking is implicated in as many as 80% of ED cases.
Stress and anxiety.
Prostate gland surgery.
Spinal cord injuries.
Hormone imbalances, in particular, low testosterone levels. There are a number of reasons why a patient may have low testosterone levels including dysfunction of the pituitary gland, suffering from a range of illnesses including inflammatory diseases and kidney problems, HIV and heaving previously undergone chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer.
If you are found to have low levels of testosterone (something which can be detected with a simple blood test), there is a good chance that you currently suffer from episodes of ED, or you will in the future. This could be partly because testosterone levels have also been linked to a number of different medical conditions that are commonly seen amongst patients diagnosed with erectile dysfunction. This includes Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
Fortunately, there is a way to boost testosterone in patients who are found to have naturally low levels of the hormone. This is known as testosterone replacement therapy or TRT.
Testosterone replacement therapy is able to be administered in a number of different ways. These include the following:
Testosterone patches. These are either worn on the main part of the body or directly on the scrotum and release hormones into the skin which then pass into the bloodstream and help your body to reach normal testosterone levels.
Testosterone gel. This medicated gel, which contains testosterone, is absorbed in the same way as the patches which is directly through the skin and then bloodstream.
Intramuscular injections. These are normally administered by a professional and so involve regular visits to your practitioner. The injections are placed into the thighs or buttocks and the testosterone is quickly absorbed into the body.
Muscoadhesive treatment. This involves a special buccal tablet that is applied to the gum surface in the mouth where it sticks and provides a controlled and sustained release of hormone.
Deciding exactly which type of testosterone replacement therapy is right for you is a very personal choice and our experienced team would be happy to help you make that choice. If you have been suffering from repeated episodes of ED and would like the support and advice of discreet, experienced professionals, please call our offices today.