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Since You Asked: Unveiling Erectile Dysfunction Truths

How do you navigate erectile dysfunction in your relationship? Since you asked, Susan offers her 42 years' experience in the field

Susan
Hello, everyone. It’s Susan and I am so excited to welcome you to this Since You Asked. So, let’s get started with this week’s question. This week’s question comes from a 61-year-old female who writes in and says, “Has anyone else’s partner dealt with erectile dysfunction? And how did you navigate through it?”

You came to the right person. I am not capable of giving a physician’s medical advice, but I do have experience in this arena. I am an ultrasonographer. That is my career. I’ve been a sonographer for more than 42 years. I do diagnostic ultrasound. And one of the things that I specialized in was erectile dysfunction. I actually had the opportunity many years ago to work for some of the top andrologists and urologists here at our local university in their erectile dysfunction clinic, using ultrasound to help navigate through the diagnosis of certain problems. I have so much to say about this.

One of the things that I don’t think people realize is that erectile dysfunction can start really, really early. I think men as young as their mid-thirties can start to find that they are having issues with erectile dysfunction, particularly if they’re heavy drinkers or smokers. Anything that affects the cardiovascular system certainly has direct impairment on the small vessels that are necessary for a decent erection.

And certainly by the time a man is in his sixties, the statistics tell us that as many as probably almost 50% of males, if not more, depending on their health, suffer from some form of erectile dysfunction. And one of the things that I realized when I worked with men in the clinic — I had a distinct advantage in that I’m a part-time standup, so my humor really helped getting men to sort of come out of their shell to talk about these things. One of the interesting or fascinating parts about working with this type of medicine is that — in comparison to women, who usually will eventually speak up and tell you about what’s bothering them or what’s happening — men don’t like to talk about any of this. For them, I think the penis is, you know, everything, and when it doesn’t work, there’s a huge psychological sense of failure and that feeling of not being the man that they’re supposed to. And we use quite a bit of humor in the clinic to do some of the unusual exams to evaluate for erectile dysfunction.

The other thing I learned in the urology clinic was that erectile dysfunction is very much like a canary in the coal mine. In other words, when we saw men that presented with early signs of erectile dysfunction, it was really important that they had their cardiovascular system evaluated because it wasn’t unusual for that to be sort of a precursor to have even a heart attack, some cardiovascular events, six months later.

So those small, small vessels in the penis are some of the first to get affected. And if your spouse suffers from erectile dysfunction and has not had a workup, I highly, highly, highly encourage you both to sit down and talk about it and then schedule an appointment with a trusted urologist, or andrologist, for that matter.

There are lots of treatments for erectile dysfunction. That’s the good news. In 2024, PDE5 inhibitors or what you know is Viagra. But Viagra doesn’t necessarily work for every type of erectile dysfunction. There are other causes of erectile dysfunction. For instance, some of the veins that allow the blood to stay in the penis while it’s engorged will often be nonfunctioning or insufficient.

And I learned, by trial, by fire, one afternoon when the urologist I was working for said, “Look what we have in this tour,” and it was a series of medical cock rings. And the purpose of the cock ring is to actually constrict the end of the penis during an erection so that blood doesn’t leak out. So that’s another form of erectile dysfunction. And again, if he’s not been evaluated, it’s really, really, really important that he is because, like I said, there are some promising techniques like PRP or shockwave therapy or even as simple as Viagra.

I also think that it’s important that you talk about it, because I think when men face this, they often face depression as well. And then perhaps the two of you will admit to the fact that you’re not having sex. And there’s a “use it or lose it” phenomena. So, in other words, if a man is not having frequent erections, they actually lose significant size in the penis and no man wants that. Trust me.

Also, it’s important that for the first time he’s honest about taking his health into his own hands. If he’s drinking too much or if he’s smoking or, God forbid, both; or overweight, diabetes, hypertension, all of those things are going to affect the small vessels that allow for a wonderful erection and a wonderful sex life, which you both are entitled to.

So, to answer your question, trust me, there are other people of this age that suffer from the same thing. Unfortunately, they just suffer in silence. And we should talk about this more.

I hope this helps. I hope that this gives you the courage to sit down with him and perhaps take matters into your hands, into scheduling an appointment with the urologist. Go with him, listen to what they say.

So, that’s it for another episode of the Since You Asked show. I am so grateful to all of you. I really am going to encourage you to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Follow us on AGEIST and Since You Asked or follow me @kikimousegetsfit because you’ll see these episodes every week when we post them.

And again, thank you, thank you, thank you so much for following us. I love you. Have a great week.

See medical disclaimer below. ↓

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The ideas expressed here are solely the opinions of the author and are not researched or verified by AGEIST LLC, or anyone associated with AGEIST LLC. This material should not be construed as medical advice or recommendation, it is for informational use only. We encourage all readers to discuss with your qualified practitioners the relevance of the application of any of these ideas to your life. The recommendations contained herein are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You should always consult your physician or other qualified health provider before starting any new treatment or stopping any treatment that has been prescribed for you by your physician or other qualified health provider. Please call your doctor or 911 immediately if you think you may have a medical or psychiatric emergency.

 

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