Can erectile dysfunction be prevented?On April 5, 2019 by Kelly Castro
Erectile dysfunction is a sexual disorder that consists of the persistent difficulty or inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient to carry out a complete sexual relationship.
Depending on the different studies carried out, its prevalence varies between 10 and 52%, particularly in men between 40 and 70 years, with an incidence in the West of 25-30 new cases per 1000 inhabitants and year. Specifically in Spain, it is estimated that erectile dysfunction affects practically 1 in 5 men.
Although not a risk to life, the World Health Organization recognizes this pathology as a health problem in the same degree of disability and severity as infertility, rheumatoid arthritis or angina.
In this regard, it should be remembered that problems of erection often have a negative impact on the quality of life of men, as well as their partners.
In addition, beyond the influence of age in its appearance, it has been shown its close relationship with cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, and may be a sentinel symptom of these pathologies.
Do not forget that reaching and maintaining a firm erection requires a good vascular function and that the aforementioned disorders can affect the blood vessels related to the erectile function of the penis.
How to prevent erectile dysfunction
Precisely because of its link with cardiovascular problems, all those changes in lifestyle that favor the good health of the heart and blood vessels have shown their capacity in the improvement or prevention of erectile dysfunction.
In that sense, the European Association of Urology even maintains that these modifications of the risk factors should precede or accompany the treatments of the erection disorders
So, it is true that there are measures that can help prevent erectile dysfunction.
– Cardiovascular diseases under control. Hypertension and lipidemia (high blood levels of cholesterol or triglycerides) can cause erection problems.
This is because both conditions contribute to the malfunction and obstruction of blood vessels and, therefore, also of the penile arteries. As a result, blood does not enter the penis sufficiently, preventing normal erection.
Thus, the optimal management of these pathologies by the specialist doctor can result in an improvement of erectile function.
– Appropriate weight. The increase of fat tissue in overweight and obesity predisposes to hypertension and diabetes mellitus, in addition to being related to lipidemia.
Therefore, men with excess weight are more likely than the normal population to have arterial problems that lead to erectile dysfunction.
In this way, maintaining an adequate weight can also help to prevent erection problems.
– Regular physical activity. Different studies have found that it is necessary to flee from sedentary life and, at the same time, that physical exercise has a beneficial effect in the prevention and improvement of erectile function.
For reference, the World Health Organization recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity aerobic activity.
– Healthy nutrition. On the other hand, a balanced diet characterized by a high consumption of whole foods, vegetables, fruits and vegetables is also beneficial for cardiovascular health and, consequently, for sexual health.3- Tobacco and alcohol. Tobacco is not only one of the main risk factors for cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, but it can also contribute to the onset of erection disorders.
The explanation is that the chemical substances present in tobacco negatively affect blood vessels throughout the body and this also includes those of the penis.
The good news is that different studies have shown that erection problems can improve when you quit smoking.
On the other hand, the excessive consumption of alcohol, due to the cardiovascular damage that it produces, also negatively influences erectile function and, consequently, it should be limited to specific occasions.
– Mental health. Psychological factors such as depression can also be related to erectile dysfunction, in addition to that they could worsen the condition when it has a physical origin.
Therefore, mental well-being and a positive attitude towards sex can also help to prevent erection disorders from appearing.Do not forget that, beyond the cardiovascular, metabolic and psychological causes, erectile dysfunction can appear due to a surgical intervention – specifically, radical surgery of the prostate and bladder due to cancer – neurological diseases, nerve injuries, consumption of certain medications or hormonal alterations.
In these cases, it is true that problems of erection can hardly be prevented. However, this does not mean that, if they appear, they can not be treated.