If you’re struggling with Erectile Dysfunction (ED), you belong to a frustrated brotherhood of 20-30 million Americans. Technically speaking, an erection is a multi-step hydraulic process. First, your brain transmits a signal to nerves in your penis. Then your heart pumps blood, which must enter and remain within your penis’ spongy bodies. If all goes well, you achieve and maintain an erection. But erectile dysfunction occurs whenever any of these procedures doesn’t work properly. The inability to perform sexually haunts men more than anything else.
But what’s really to blame when your equipment malfunctions? Stress, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and obesity are the usual suspects. Other common deflators include alcohol consumption, smoking and recreational drug use. erectile dysfunction also afflicts men suffering from depression, anxiety and other mental health problems. Both other reasons have arisen. Studies have found additional sneaky culprits unsuspecting men encounter every day that may contribute to or exacerbate erectile dysfunction. Sexual health experts advise men and their partners to watch out for these overlooked factors.
Canned Foods and Plastic Bottles
Some food cans and reusable plastic bottles contain bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical that can inhibit male sex hormones. A study found that men who worked in factories where BPA was present had four times the risk of erectile dysfunction as employees without chemical exposure. While those BPA levels were 50 times that of average American men, follow-up research linked much lower amounts from everyday use to erectile dysfunction and decreased sexual desire.
Reduce your exposure by choosing fresh instead of canned foods. Look for BPA-free containers. Avoid any with the number 7 on the bottom. Don’t put plastic containers in the microwave or dishwasher because the heat can cause the BPA to leak.
A classic study of more than 1700 men found that those who rode bikes over three hours a week had higher erectile dysfunction rates than ones who clocked less time. The research also showed that less-frequent cycling could prevent erectile dysfunction. Later University of California investigation discovered that the bicycle seat style may be the problem. Sitting on a hard seat makes you bear weight directly on your perineum, the area between your scrotum and anus. Compression squeezes off the vital arteries and nerves entering your penis that are necessary for normal sexual function.
Instead of giving up exercise, replace your bike seat. Avoid plastic. Choose a leather seat that conforms more comfortably to your shape. Or consider a grooved or nose-less bike seat, which can minimize pressure on your perineum. Long-distance riders may lower their erectile dysfunction risks by choosing road bikes over mountain bikes, according to one study. If you ride at the gym, pick a recumbent bike that puts your body in a laid-back reclining position and distributes your weight more comfortably.
Poor Dental Hygiene
Neglecting your gums can harm your teeth and heart. Now recent research shows that it’s also bad for your penis. Scientists found that more than 15 percent of men with chronic gum disease had erectile dysfunction. But only 2 percent of subjects without erectile dysfunction had gum problems.
Bacteria from your mouth can travel through your bloodstream and merge with plaque. If this combination clogs your blood vessels including those in your penis, getting an erection is more difficult. For healthier teeth and better sex, brush twice a day and floss once.
Loud snoring does more than disturb your partner. It’s one of the hallmarks of sleep apnea, a common condition that interrupts your breathing constantly during sleep. Recent research linked sleep apnea and erection issues. One study found that men with erectile dysfunction were twice as likely to have this sleep disorder as those without it. Interrupted breathing is a sign that your body is suffering from abnormally low baseline oxygen levels, which are necessary to achieve and maintain erections.
Talk to your doctor about your snoring. Sleep apnea is a serious health issue that also may lead to high blood pressure, heart disease and other problems. Wearing a special mask that supplies oxygen overnight and losing weight can improve overall health and may mitigate erectile dysfunction also.
Research found an association between pelvic fractures and sexual dysfunction. Home, sports, car and motorcycle accidents can damage nerves and arteries in your urethra, leading to erectile dysfunction. Imagine the painful effects of losing your footing on an extended ladder and straddling it all the way down. Such extreme force can crush the main artery connecting your penis to your pelvic bone that supplies blood necessary for erections.
“I’ve seen a man as young as 18 suffer from erectile dysfunction, resulting from a kick to the crotch while doing karate,” said Irwin Goldstein, M.D., director of sexual medicine at Alvarado Hospital in San Diego, Calif., who specializes in erectile dysfunction. Another patient required a penile implant when a surfboard popped up and struck him between the legs. If you sustain an injury in your pelvic area, seek immediate medical attention. Erection issues may not occur until months after an incident.
Consult your doctor to diagnose and treat any underlying medical conditions that may be hindering your sex life. Medications and therapy can ease mental health concerns. Cialis and Viagra treat erectile dysfunction by increasing blood flow to your penis. Take either medication a half hour before sex, and its effects can last four to five hours. For convenience, order all your prescriptions from an online pharmacy.