People who suffer from impotence, see it as a sign of weakness. The shame they feel discourages them from asking for help from family and friends. Society has created a stigma for a problem that’s is affecting men of all ages.
Masculinity is the cornerstone of what means to be a man. Strength, stamina, size are qualities that are respected by other men. Characteristics that are in the eye of any woman, looking for a partner. It’s not surprising that the problem of erectile dysfunction, the inability to achieve an erect penis and maintain an erection, is taboo. Talking openly about these invisible disease means undermining one’s status in society. Most men pretend nothing is wrong. They don’t seek out treatment.
It is important to realize that an isolated incident is nothing to worry about. In a certain situation, an erection may not be achieved due to fatigue or too much alcohol. Erectile dysfunction is diagnosed only when it becomes a frequent occurrence. The causes can be an underlying illness that has not been diagnosed. The most common triggers of impotence are heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and prostate cancer. At the same time, physiological factors cannot be overlooked.
Though, there has been no global study, piecing together data from different countries, reveals that the prevalence of sexual dysfunctions seems to be high. It is estimated that one in 10 men will encounter problems with getting an erection throughout their life.
A survey from Great Britain in 2004, found that men wait years before going to the doctor. A more worrying fact that came out of the study is that 14% of the participants with impotence, said that they have had suicidal thoughts. In the same study 25% of the respondents, admitted that they were too embarrassed to talk about the problem with their wives. It is estimated that there are 2.3 million men in Britain that have the condition. But only 10% are actively being treated for the symptoms.
Vocalize the Problem
In the past few years several people suffering from the condition, and professional therapists have voiced their thoughts and experiences on the problem. The prevailing opinion is that men and women will benefit from discussing the condition. Especially when in some cases, the causes are mental health problems.
The first step is getting the courage to ask for help. Fear of being ridiculed od looked upon as inferior, is a barrier that can be overcome with support from a partner or close friends. A proper diagnosis must be sought through a urologist or a therapist. Unearthing the root of the problem is the key to getting the appropriate treatment. Depending on the cause, solutions can be found in surgery, medications individual, or couple therapy.
It has been observed that those with a gradual onset of impotence, are more likely to have a physiological cause for the problem. Treatment may include oral medication, vacuum devices, or injection therapy. Couples therapy may be suggested. Lifestyle changes are a great start. Things like being overweight can also have an impact. Dietary changes and a bit more exercise can help to regulate the symptoms. Sometimes the solution is not complicated.
Fixing Our Attitude Towards Sex
Relationship problems can contribute to ED, but it’s important to take into account that the process works the other way around. A partner can easily interpret impotence as a loss of interest. Taking it personally creates new problems. The partner blames herself or develops anxieties about the perception that she is no longer attractive. It’s important not to complicate the situation. That will make it more difficult to find a solution.
The inability to communicate on the men’s part leaves their partners confused and frustrated. At the same time lack of sexual intercourse, creates feelings of rejection. The emotional effect on any relationship can be catastrophic if the situation is not managed correctly. Partners must deal with this problem together.
By including the better half in the process, the results will come quicker. With all the available medications like Viagra, in the big scheme of things, sexual dysfunction is a minor problem. The real problem is the stigma surrounding the condition. The negative perception prevents many men from seeking treatment.
Medication, therapy, and surgery can fix the condition. The real problem is fixing our attitude towards sex. There is no support system for men to discuss deeply personal issues. There are no published works, men’s magazines that educate people about the condition. Male journalists shy away from the topic. Considering the rising statistics about ED, changes must be made in the way society views the problem.