Myths and Facts About Erectile Dysfunction

Image of Couple holding hands

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common problem. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), about 30 million men in the United States have ED. Even though it’s a common issue, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to find reliable information about the problem or guidance for what you should do about it. 

At Urology Center of Orange County, Dr. Khaled Fareed and his staff have the skills, compassion, and training to help you understand if you have ED and what your treatment options may be. We know that many men are uncomfortable with the subject and that myths regarding ED abound. We hope this post helps you understand why you shouldn’t be embarrassed and why you should seek treatment if you’re experiencing problems getting or maintaining an erection. 

Myth 1: Everyone can define ED

Before we talk about why ED is a real problem, we should explain exactly what ED is, because that’s something that’s widely misunderstood. If you can’t get an erection now and then you probably don’t have ED. It’s normal to occasionally be unable to get an erection. 

Stress, psychological factors, too much alcohol, and other day-to-day things can affect your ability to have sex. If, however, the problem persists, you should seek medical care. 

Erectile dysfunction is defined as being unable to get or keep an erection firm enough for satisfactory sexual intercourse. You may be completely unable to get an erection, or unable to maintain an erection long enough to have sexual intercourse.

Myth 2: It’s not a real problem

Some people think that ED is a normal part of aging. Although it’s true that ED is more common among older men, it’s not normal. 

Maybe you’ve heard that ED is “all in your head.” That’s not true, either. Psychological factors and mental illness can affect your ability to get and maintain an erection, but ED is often the result of an underlying health condition. 

In fact, one of the most common underlying causes of ED is heart disease, and that is a very real problem. The arteries that carry blood to your penis are much smaller than those that take blood to your heart, so you may well have symptoms of ED years before you have any other symptoms of heart disease. 

The fact that ED can be the result of other, serious medical conditions is one reason you should seek medical care promptly when symptoms arise. 

Myth 3: Your only treatment options is a pill

Possibly because drugs like Viagra and Cialis have been advertised often, some people think medications are the only way to treat the problem. That’s not true. In fact. Many times, pharmaceuticals are not even the first line treatment. 

Once Dr. Fareed determines the likely cause of your ED, he suggests treatments. You may need treatment for an underlying medical issue first. Some people resolve ED through lifestyle changes, such as:

Even if you do require additional treatment, the best approach could be a shot rather than a pill. 

Myth 4: It’s probably your underwear

For some reason the myth that tight underwear causes ED persists. Researchers have investigated, but there’s no proof that your choice of underwear is linked to your inability to get or maintain an erection.

Myth 5: There are effective herbal treatments

It may be tempting to think you can order a few supplements, so you’ll never need to discuss your ED with a specialist. However, this is an unhelpful, and potentially dangerous path. 

For one thing, supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA, so you can’t be sure that what you’re taking is safe. In addition, no studies show any supplements that are effective in the treatment of ED. Finally, supplements can be dangerous if you take other medications because you don’t know how the two will interact.

If you’re concerned about ED and need compassionate care, schedule an appointment at Urology Center of Orange County.

You Might Also Enjoy...

5 Reasons to Consider a Vasectomy

For male birth control, nothing beats a vasectomy. In fact, a vasectomy is the single most effective way to prevent pregnancy. Learn more about the ways a vasectomy could work for you and your partner.