Healthy erections are part of a healthy sex life for a man. However, sometimes an erection happening out of the blue can be awkward. When this incident happens too frequently, it could also be a sign of erectile dysfunction (ED). According to National Institute of Health, erectile dysfunction (ED) is defined as trouble getting or keeping an erection of sufficient quality for satisfactory sexual intercourse and performance.
Globally, the prevalence of ED ranged from 3 to 76.5%. In Malaysia, more than 16% of men aged 40 years old and above reported having moderate to complete ED. If were to include those with mild ED, the prevalence would surge up to 60% ! Although ED was associated with increasing age, younger men are not exclusively spared. Failing to “rise” is not just an older men’s problem anymore and data was revealing erection problems are on the rise in millennial men, and even those aged around their 20s! It’s an issue men find very difficult to discuss, regardless of age.
Often viewed as just a sexual health problem, decline in erectile function has now been linked to various co-morbidities, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, depression and anxiety, and COVID-19. Notably, men with diabetes are twice as likely to develop ED and may experience it 10 to 15 times earlier than their healthy counterparts.
If you are wondering why, ED can happen with these conditions:
All in all, having ED can be a nuisance by leaving you and your partner disheartened and frustrated. Nevertheless, don’t sweep these problems under the carpet, speak to your doctor for a careful and comprehensive health assessment.
There are a few things you can start doing to improve the condition. Treat and manage the underlying root cause. For example, if you are a smoker, reduce or quit smoking gradually. Smoking narrows the blood vessels and this situation aggravates in people with diabetes or high blood cholesterol. Likewise if you are carrying a big belly, time to move more and eat less to shed the extra kilos of fats. If you aren’t sure how to manage your food intake, talk to a dietitian or nutritionist.
This article is written by Ms Wu Suet Kei (Nutritionist) for Green Image Organic Enterprise Sdn. Bhd
Kessler A, Sollie S, Challacombe B, Briggs K, Van Hemelrijck M. The global prevalence of erectile dysfunction: a review. BJU Int. 2019 Jul 2.
Koh KC. Prevalence of erectile dysfunction in men with ischemic heart disease in a tertiary hospital in Malaysia. Med J Malaysia. 2013;68:301–4.