Erectile disorder, usually called ED, is the inability to acquire and sustain an erection appropriate for sexual intercourse. It is estimated that about 1 in 10 adult males suffers from ED on a long-term basis. ED is a symptom of another, underlying problem. This is not considered normal at any age and may be associated with other problems that interfere with sexual intercourse, such as lack of desire and problems with orgasm and ejaculation.
Common conditions and ED risk factors
High blood pressure, diabetes and heart problems are very common in the UK. If you are a South Asian, then you may be at higher risk of developing heart problem and on the other hand, if you are the African Caribbean then the high blood pressure is more likely to affect you.
Prevention, intervention and treatment for ED
If you are in a high-risk ethnic group, then what can you do? And does being in a high-risk group affect how doctors treat ED?
ED prevention and intervention
Causes and effective treatments
If we consider the physical causes, then reducing your risk level is one of the most effective things you can do.
When we notice patients with elevated blood pressure, or who appear to be at risk of developing heart disease or diabetes, lifestyle change is frequently the first line of treatment.
– Regular exercise – strengthens your heart
· Do exercise 30 minutes a day that raises your heart rate
· Try a brisk walk or swimming
· If you’re not very active, build up your exercise slowly
– Eating a balanced diet – supports healthy, functioning systems
· Each day eat at least five portions of whole fruit and vegetables
· Do not consume fatty food
· Replace some red meat with lean protein like poultry, fish or pulses and beans
– Reduce sugar and salt intake – keeps your blood sugar and blood pressure steady
· Avoid very salty foods, such as processed meat, ready meals and snacks
· Replace sweet sugary biscuits, cake and soft drinks with fruit, low-sugar alternatives and water
– Drink alcohol in moderation – looks after your heart, blood and weight
· Spread your drinks throughout the week to avoid bingeing
· Alternate alcoholic drinks with water to stay hydrated
· Just drink 6 glasses of wine or 6 pints of beer per week.
Getting the right ED treatment for you
Information about your ethnicity and pre-existing conditions can be useful for doctors to understand the causes of your ED and recommend the right treatment plan. We’ll always make sure that any medicines you’re taking for other conditions are compatible with the ED treatment we prescribe.
It’s important to state, however, that your ethnicity alone doesn’t affect how doctors – or our clinicians – treat you. We treat men from all backgrounds and at different ages who experience ED, for a range of reasons. Remember, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk factors, particularly if you’re in a high-risk ethnic group.
If you are experiencing trouble maintaining an erection, our team is here to help you!