One of the most common male sexual health conditions is erection dysfunction (ED). ED can become a long-term issue when caused by a chronic illness or other medical condition. However, in many cases, this is only temporary.
Continue reading to learn what causes temporary ED. We'll also discuss possible treatment options and how to approach your doctor about this condition.
What Is Temporary Erectile Dysfunction?
Having difficulty getting an erection isn't always a cause for concern. Many men have erection problems at some point in their lives, and numerous causes exist.
Certain lifestyle factors can contribute to ED. In these cases, ED is usually transient and improves with lifestyle changes. The following factors can contribute to temporary ED:
1. Poor Lifestyle
Smoking, poor diet, physical inactivity, and being overweight or obese are all risk factors. Nitric oxide is one of the most important molecules required for an erection (NO). NO is a vasodilator, which means it relaxes your blood vessels, which are required for an erection.
2. Chronic inflammation
It can be caused by smoking, eating a poor diet, and being overweight — all of which can cause problems with blood vessel function and reduce the availability of this molecule.
3. Chronic stress
When you are stressed, your body produces more of the hormone epinephrine. Elevated epinephrine levels make relaxing the muscles and blood vessels in the penis difficult. When the source of the stress or anxiety is addressed, ED often resolves.
4. Metabolic syndrome
According to research, metabolic syndrome can cause ED in a variety of ways, including low testosterone levels and atherosclerosis. ED may be treatable and temporary, depending on the cause.
How To Treat temporary Erectile Dysfunction
With the right treatment, erectile dysfunction can often be improved. A 2014 study of 810 men discovered that 29% of men with erectile dysfunction had improved symptoms after 5 years.
The following are some temporary ED treatment options:
1. Taking medications
Oral medications are frequently used as the first-line treatment for ED.
2. Quitting smoking
Smoking can harm your blood vessels and reduce blood flow to your penis.
3. Reducing alcohol consumption
ED can be caused by excessive alcohol consumption. In these cases, lowering your alcohol consumption may help your ED.
4. Improving diet
According to research, 79% of people with ED have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 25. A healthy diet can help you lose weight and improve your ED.
According to one study published in 2018, 160 minutes of weekly exercise for 6 months helped reduce ED caused by cardiovascular disease, lack of physical activity, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, and obesity.
6. Taking supplements
Panax ginseng, Rhodiola Rosea, Yohimbe, and L-arginine are some supplements that may help with ED symptoms. However, the effectiveness of many of these supplements is still being debated. Before taking any supplements, consult your doctor.
Stress and anxiety raise hormone levels, making it more difficult for blood vessels and muscles in your penis to relax. When the source of stress is addressed, ED symptoms often resolve.
8. Trying talk therapy
Sex therapy, psychotherapy, or relationship therapy may be beneficial in dealing with ED caused by psychological factors.
9. Undergoing testosterone replacement therapy
You may benefit from testosterone replacement therapy if your erectile dysfunction is caused by a hormonal imbalance.
Diagnosing temporary ED
It is normal to have an ED on occasion. However, ED should be considered if it is causing frequent disruptions in your sexual life.
Talking to your doctor is the best way to figure out what's causing your ED. They can determine the cause of ED by reviewing your medical and sexual history and inquiring about substance abuse and psychological stress.
If you still have erections when you wake up in the morning, your ED is most likely psychological rather than physical. There could be more than one cause of ED at the same time.
Your doctor may also recommend blood tests and give you a physical exam to rule out nerve damage or other conditions.
Talking to your doctor
Many men are embarrassed to discuss ED with their doctor. If you do have ED, your doctor can help you find the best treatment option.
Furthermore, communicating with your doctor is critical, as ED is frequently a more serious medical condition symptom. Your doctor can screen you for conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Here are some tips to help you have an easier conversation with your doctor.:
- Plan out what you're going to say ahead of time.
- Make a list of potential questions.
- Make a list of your symptoms and the dates they occurred.
The condition itself is not life-threatening; in some cases, it is only temporary. However, it can occasionally be a symptom of a more serious health condition.
Consult your doctor to determine the underlying cause and begin treatment. You can also work on improving your lifestyle habits, such as quitting smoking, exercising regularly, and eating healthily.
Diagnosis of Erectile Dysfunction - https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/erectile-dysfunction/diagnosis
Anand N. Shridharani, February 2016; The treatment of erectile dysfunction in patients with neurogenic disease - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4739980/
Amanda B. Reed-Maldonado, April 2016; A syndrome of erectile dysfunction in young men? - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4837321/
Kristina Areskoug Josefsson, PhD, RPT, June 2018; Physical Activity to Improve Erectile Function: A Systematic Review of Intervention Studies - https://www.smoa.jsexmed.org/article/S2050-1161(18)30029-1/fulltext
Maria Ida Maiorino, June 2015; Lifestyle modifications and erectile dysfunction: what can be expected? - https://www.ajandrology.com/article.asp?issn=1008-682X;year=2015;volume=17;issue=1;spage=5;epage=10;aulast=Maiorino