“[Erectile Dysfunction] is defined as the consistent or recurrent inability to acquire or sustain an erection of sufficient rigidity and duration for sexual intercourse.”
You may have noticed that the terms in that definition are vague, aren’t they? After all, what does “sufficient” mean? Is a 90% strength erection enough? If your erection lasts for 3-10 minutes, is that enough? Maybe the duration, quality, and frequency of your erection has been going down so slowly you only noticed an issue recently, and you’ve been anxiously waiting for it to fix itself. I have been lucky enough to talk to many men in this exact scenario and they often describe a subtle change in their sexual performance that appears to persist and worsen. In most cases, they wait for the situation to get fairly dire before reaching out for help.
If you are reading this and just starting to experience this issue, the question of “how do I know?” may be on the forefront of your mind. If that’s the case then I will cut right to the chase: if you think there’s an issue, there is one.
When you notice a decrease in function, most men get an anxiety that their performance will be lacking the next time they have sex. If that anxiety persists, it will threaten your confidence in your next erection and the erection after that. Soon, the fear can become self-fulfilling and remove the ability to get and maintain an erection. So no matter what the cause of your dip in ability is, it’s important and appropriate to be proactive in dealing with it so that the little problem you’re ignoring doesn’t become overwhelming.
Maybe your initial question is now sounding more like “why me?”. In one study, 40% of men at age 40 acknowledged some problem in their sexual function.1 Another study found that one in three men aged 18-59 were dealing with this same issue.2 Of course nobody wants to be a statistic, but the point of that data is that you are absolutely not alone. Many men who walk into my clinic feel like they are the first person to ever have a decline in their sexual function, but that is absolutely not the case.
It makes sense too! There are many ways to get erectile dysfunction and each cause has several paths to get there. Apparently all roads lead to Rome and erectile dysfunction! For example, vasculogenic or “blood flow” causes of erectile dysfunction can be caused by high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Any one of those things will have you reading blog posts about erectile dysfunction on their own, they are all extremely common conditions, and all relatively “silent” conditions you may not know you have.
Hopefully the most important question you can ask has come to mind: “what can I do about it?” A lot. There are a lot of things you can do to help this issue. In fact, you’ve already started! Information gathering is the first step to solving this issue because, like all medical conditions, ignorance doesn’t help. Check for weekly updates to this blog to learn more about many facets of men’s health because, after all, you don’t know what you don’t know.
We love when people are being proactive at Elev8te Men’s Health. Nothing makes us more excited than providing our clients with all the information they require from the moment they call us. If you have more questions about your sexual health and want a team that will point you towards the services/professional that will get you back to your peak, pick up the phone right now or book a free consultation on our website.
1. Johannes CB, Araujo AB, Feldman HA, Derby CA, Kleinman KP, McKinlay JB. Incidence of erectile dysfunction in men 40 to 69 years old: longitudinal results from the Massachusetts male aging study. J Urol. 2000 Feb;163(2):460-3. PMID: 10647654.
2. Laumann EO, Paik A, Rosen RC. Sexual dysfunction in the United States: prevalence and predictors. JAMA. 1999 Feb 10;281(6):537-44. doi: 10.1001/jama.281.6.537. Erratum in: JAMA 1999 Apr 7;281(13):1174. PMID: 10022110.
3. Feldman HA, Goldstein I, Hatzichristou DG, Krane RJ, McKinlay JB. Impotence and its medical and psychosocial correlates: results of the Massachusetts Male Aging Study. J Urol. 1994 Jan;151(1):54-61. doi: 10.1016/s0022-5347(17)34871-1. PMID: 8254833.