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July 12, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
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derstand that treatment for ED should involve the couple
his is to prevent ignorance on the part of the woman as to
ction and means of treatment, which enables her to sup-
the treatment process."
By Dr. Makini McGuire
IN THE HIGHLY SEXUALLY CHARGED WORLD that we
live in, a man's ability to 'perform' is now thought to define
who he is. Despite this concept being quite flawed, one can-
not deny that a man is truly disturbed when he cannot suc-
ceed at sexual intercourse, and just this in itself has the
ability to make even the most quality men feel insignificant.
Consequently, being the proud, egotistical creatures that
men naturally are, they turn that feeling of insignificance
into anger, denial, and just outright irrational behaviour. To
compound the matter, women, being the emotional, dra-
matic creatures that they naturally are, feel the need to
make the situation about themselves. The man is having
his own genuine sexual dysfunction, but the women cry,
shout and make themselves a nuisance, complaining about
how much the spouse does not love them or find them at-
tractive anymore. My fellow women, it is not all about you.
Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is defined as the inability to
achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory
sexual performance. The causes of erectile dysfunction are
many and can be psychological or biological, but most
times contain a bit of each. ED of varying degrees is fairly
g men older than 50 years
an cause a
marriages. It is very
ent for ED shou
This is to pr
to support her
through the treatm
Biological factors are most important and common in our
society due to the high prevalence of diabetes, high blood
pressure and smoking in our population. Poorly controlled
diabetes and hypertension are very common causes of
erectile dysfunction, and are, at times, the first symptom
that patients present with that leads the doctor to screen
for these illnesses. Even without any of these diseases, cig-
arette smoking all on its own increases the risk of ED times
one and a half. I feel like you can surely conclude for yourself
that the next factor I will mention is being inactive, and
overweight, followed by heart disease and high cholesterol.
Of course, simply getting older as well as direct trauma to
the penis, and several other disorders affecting the entire
body such as kidney failure and some nervous system dis-
orders, can also cause ED.
Like a broken record I will say again that lifestyle modifica-
tion is paramount to the prevention and treatment of
many diseases, including ED. The process of achieving an
erection, though it seems to happen so spontaneously in
young men, is surprisingly complex. Important in the
process, though, is good blood flow and good blood vessels
in the penis. All lifestyle diseases like those mentioned
above cause damage to your blood vessels and blood flow,
thereby contributing to ED. Healthy diet, consistent exer-
cise, regular preventative health care, doctor's visits and
cessation of or never commencing smoking will all go a
long way in prevention and treatment.
Now, on the psychological side of things, yes it is true, a
man needs to feel sexually aroused for an erection to take
place and yes, it is true that if he does not feel sexually at-
tracted to a woman then an erection may not take place.
However, there are usually much deeper issues than this.
Depression, marital discord, traumatic sexual or other ex-
periences, post-traumatic stress disorder, psychotic mental
disorders and performance anxiety are all psychological
contributors. Let us take a special look at the last disorder.
If the first time your spouse does not get an erection you
take the opportunity to open the gates of hell on him, this
creates a high level of anxiety for the future. Therefore, in
addition to whatever biological disorder he may have, you
have kindly added a layer of anxiety which is even harder
to treat than diabetes! I don't think that I need to expatiate
on the viciousness of the cycle that ensues.
The solution, therefore, is to visit a doctor if the problem
of ED occurs, preferably as a couple. Do not go to your doc-
tor and say "I just want the Viagra, please"; do not go to
the pharmacy and tell the pharmacist that, either. If an un-
derlying cause exists, it must be found, and then treatment
can be initiated safely and effectively, taking into consider-
ation any other illnesses. 'Boosting' with testosterone in its
various forms is also not advisable, not only because of the
need for proper evaluation, but because the evidence for
its usefulness in ED is ambiguous. I hope both genders are
a little more enlightened!
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