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Five Myths About ED Treatments

Let’s talk about sex, baby!

Specifically, when sex goes wrong.

On movies and TV shows, sex is portrayed as seamless and effortless. Everyone has watched the scene: a few passionate kisses lead to clothes flying off and then moments later, boom, the couple is making sweet, sweet love under the tender glow of moonlight. But the truth is that sometimes, sex can be a little bit more complicated — and awkward — than that. Occasionally, for example, men simply can’t get it up. Though this situation can be pretty embarrassing, erectile dysfunction is anything but rare. In fact, it affects men of all ages. So why aren’t more men talking about it?

Unfortunately, men face a stigma around openly discussing health issues. According to one survey, 53% of men are unwilling to talk about their health. That same survey found 42% of men only discuss their health when it’s a “close call.” Since there’s such a stigma around men health issues, there are a lot of myths about erectile dysfunction and people turn to alternative sources. It’s very possible to fall down a deep, dark rabbit hole of the internet and spend hours upon hours feeling hopeless as you read every single forum post about ED.

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Here Five Myths About ED

(and why they’re dead wrong!)

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Myth 1: It’s All In Your Head And You Don’t Need Outside Help

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We live in a society that puts pressure on men to solve their issues all on their own. There’s no shortage of reasons why toxic masculinity is bad. But what rarely gets discussed is how it affects men themselves. If a man is going through a problem, there’s pressure to ‘just get over it and move on.’ You can’t get a boner? Just close your eyes and scream at your dick until it gets hard! However, this won’t solve anything. Though 10% to 20% of ED cases are psychological, the wider chunk of cases are because of medical reasons. What can cause psychological ED? Here are a few reasons:

  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Relationship and Intimacy Issues
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Sexual Trauma

Even if a man’s ED can be attributed to the conditions stated above, this will require therapy to overcome. And to get therapy, there has to be an acknowledgement that the problem requires outside help.

What about the majority of ED cases? How can those men get help?

Erections aren’t as mysterious as you think. When it comes down to it, it’s simple science. As a man gets aroused, blood starts to flow down to his penis and results in an erection. If a man is suffering with ED, there’s an issue with the blood flow. Prescription medications like Viagra (Sildenafil), Levitra (Vardenafil), and Cialis (Tadalafil), all help increase blood flow to the penis and subsequently leading to stronger erections. Despite being effective, these medications all come with side effects so it’s best that they are taken under the supervision of a licensed doctor.

Now with telemedicine websites like hims, men can get these medications delivered to their door. Regardless if your ED is psychological or physical, don’t feel like you just need to “get over it” — there are resources and solutions that are readily available and now they are significantly cheaper than before.

Myth 2: You’re Way Too Young To Have ED

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Although erectile dysfunction is more prevalent in middle-age and elderly men, a good chunk of young men actually experience it. In 2013, a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that 1 in 4 men under the age of 40 are getting treated for ED. Additionally, this same study found that almost half of those men had a “severe case of the sexual condition.” If that figure is just the men who are seeking treatment, it’s quite possible that the real number is much, much larger. So why does this myth prevail? Probably because of the demographics shown on on Cialis or Viagra advertisements — silver-fox men shining their glistening smiles on yachts. In recent years, the conversation has shifted as people begin to acknowledge that ED isn’t just an issue for older men. A number of outlets have started covering the issue of young men experiencing ED. For instance, Mic investigated the issue in 2015. Speaking to Mic, Francis, a young man who formerly suffered from ED, said. “There a millions of men out there experiencing the same problems. Don’t be afraid to seek medical attention. At first you may be embarrassed to talk about it but once you take action you will be much happier.” There’s absolutely no such thing as being too young to have ED. So, it’s about time we end that myth once and for all.

Myth 3: You’re Watching Way Too Much Internet Porn

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The human race spends 4.5 billion hours watching porn every year — wowzers! The internet has made porn more readily available. Websites like PornHub boast 81 million visitors per day. It makes sense that there are tons of sensationalist stories about the supposed impact of internet porn on men. Porn is the perfect scapegoat — it’s a giant industry that’s notorious in its shamelessness but yet carries a certain level of shame for everyone involved. On top of that, the rise of internet porn has also coincided with the rise of ED in young men. If porn is inundating men with imagery of unattainable sex then of course they’ll prefer that to the real thing? Right? Even if you clear your browser history, you have to experience the consequences of your sins? Right?

Actually, no. Erectile dysfunction is primarily a physical issue that requires medical attention. Porn might cause people to internalize unrealistic fantasies about sex but it’s not causing physical harm. The actual scientific evidence behind the claim that porn is wreaking havoc on young men’s penises is muddled at best. A study, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, found “little evidence of the association between pornography use and male sexual health disturbances.” On the other hand, a 2016 comprehensive review of scientific studies did find evidence that porn is leading to diminished libido and performance. However, porn can’t be single-handedly blamed for someone’s ED. If you suspect that porn is the reason you can’t get it up, stop cold turkey for a few months and then revisit your ability to Netflix and Chill. Regardless of what happens, there are more scientifically verified methods to tackling this issue.

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(You don’t have to pull a Patrick!)

Myth 4: You Need To Use Natural Solutions

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Everyone has that New Age friend who spends hours waxing poetic about benefits of living a vegan, gluten-free, and organic lifestyle. While watching what you eat is undoubtedly healthy, it doesn’t mean you have to medicate yourself with sketchy all natural elixirs. When you Google “Erectile Dysfunction Treatments,” you will get plenty of search results suggesting natural treatments. If you click on these sites, you will get articles recommending herbs like ginseng, cordyceps, maca, and yohimbine. Though there are extensive blog posts and forum discussion about the alleged benefits of these herbs, there’s a lack of objective proof that they actually work.

For example, Cordyceps has been credited as a natural aphrodisiac. They can be found in notoriously expensive Moon Juice powders that are beloved by celebrities and yoga moms alike. On the Moon Juice website, the mushroom is credited for everything from helping the “body handle stress” to improving “sexual function.” However, there’s simply not enough research to verify those claims. Although there’s been one study that showed it boosted testosterone and another study that found it reduced tension in blood vessels, unlike prescription medications, there’s no medical consensus. In a similar vein, ginseng also lacks scientific credibility. Some studies has found some evidence of its effectiveness as an ED treatment, while others have discredited those claims.

There are “natural” things you can do on a daily basis that can help with ED. You can eat foods containing Vitamin D, get enough sleep, exercise, and cut down on bad habits like smoking and drinking. You don’t have to spend tons of money on sketchy powders that allegedly can help you get it up.

Myth 5: ED Is Caused By Low Testosterone Levels

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Testosterone is a hormone that’s linked to biologically male features. Since its produced in the testicles and stimulates a man’s sex drive, there’s a long standing assumption that ED is caused by low testosterone. The reality is a bit more complex. Though low testosterone levels can lead to ED and reduced libido, there are various other medical reasons why a man can’t get it up like thyroid problems, depression, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol (to name a few). In addition, testosterone treatment doesn’t have the best record in helping with ED — a review of studies show that testosterone treatment only benefited half of men. Testosterone treatments comes with risks that range from acne to a drop in sperm count. If there are more credible, verified methods of tackling ED, why risk all that?

July 28th, 2019 - Posted by | Myths | No Comments

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