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Erectile Dysfunction and Male Fertility (Part 2): How Erectile Dysfunction Affects Male Fertility
A man can only get his partner pregnant when he produces healthy sperm, the healthy sperm are carried into the semen, there is enough sperm in the semen and the sperm must be able to move.
[Fun fact: At least one of a male’s testicles must be functioning optimally for the body to produce testosterone.]
Male Infertility occurs due to low sperm production or sperm abnormalities from the male reproductive organ. One in six men with male infertility are found to have erectile dysfunction (PubMed). Erectile dysfunction does not directly cause male infertility, but it affects the major organ that delivers sperm to the woman so that pregnancy can be achieved thereby indirectly contributing to male infertility. The clinical diagnosis of erectile dysfunction can affect males of any age group, but studies have shown strong association of erectile dysfunction with age. The incidence of erectile dysfunction and low testosterone level in men increases with age (Medline).
The male hormone known as testosterone plays a key role in male fertility and sexual dysfunctions. When the testosterone level is low as a result of some of the factors mentioned earlier, examples of sexual dysfunction it causes are low libido, poor erection, premature ejaculation, reduced spontaneous erections and reduced sexual activity. This low hormone levels also cause hypogonadism which is failure of the testes to function by producing adequate sperm. When adequate sperm is not produced, a man finds it difficult to achieve conception with his partner. A man may find it difficult to get and/or maintain an erection during sexual intercourse but he will still be able to produce a good sperm at a normal concentration in quantity and quality.
[Fun fact: Erectile dysfunction does not affect sperm quality]
This delay in achieving conception impacts his ability to start or increase his family. When a man experiences this delay, it poses a psychological burden on him which can further impress a sexual dysfunction. Most men with erectile dysfunction also struggle with guilt, low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression. For some men, when this hormone is replaced in form of medications, they begin to develop and sustain an erection. However, not all men respond to this treatment but it’s worth the try. It is best to have a specialist consultation once this dysfunction is noticed, commit to the process of evaluation, and adhere to the prescribed treatment.
SYMPTOMS OF ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION
- Less firm penis
- Reduced erections
- Decreased spontaneous erections
HOW TO PREVENT ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION
Erectile dysfunction can be prevented by the following:
- Avoid smoking
- Regular exercise: improves erectile function
- Maintain a healthy body weight: weight loss increases testosterone levels and improves self esteem
- Proper management of underlying medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and heart diseases.
- Seek therapy early if you experience any non-sexual stressors
Health advisory: Avoid taking roadside concoctions, aphrodisiacs, or unprescribed medications for sexual stamina! Seeing a specialist will yield better results for you faster.
TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION INCLUDES:
-Sexual Education: about realistic sexual expectations, in order to prevent the misuse or overuse of prescribed medications.
-Sexual counseling: when there is no physical or organic health condition that can be attributed to this dysfunction.
-Medications: Various forms of medications for erectile dysfunction are available to be taken topically, orally, via injections or implants. It is strongly advised to obtain such medications with a recommended doctor’s prescription.
It is extremely important to schedule an appointment with a specialist doctor who will properly assess your overall body condition and give you the right medication. Scheduling such appointments have been made easy for you on our website www.wellfert.com where you can connect with us, and we can recommend the services of some of the best medical practitioners who handle these health conditions.
-External vacuum and constriction devices: used to help a man maintain his erection
-Surgery: It can be done to place a penile implant, penile prosthesis or it can be done in the cases of a clinical diagnosis of prostatic enlargement.
-Hormone replacement therapy: useful in men with hypogonadism where the testes have failed to function optimally. It can also be used as an additional treatment in situations where other treatment options have been used but they yielded no results.
Successful treatment of erectile dysfunction can increase the chances of male fertility by improving sexual intimacy when sexual satisfaction is achieved, enhancing his sexual health, thereby improving his overall quality of life, and relieving symptoms of depression that may have impacted his mental health negatively.
For successful and effective management of erectile dysfunction to be achieved, the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment interventions must include both partners. Most times, it has been found that men are less likely to involve their partners in discussions that relate to their sexual health with their physician. This avoidance happens when the male feels ashamed, when he is afraid of societal stigma, when the male partner lacks better understanding of the sexual problem or when he is unwilling to undergo the process involved in the evaluation of his symptoms. However, we must remember that sexual partners play an integral role in achieving success with fertility treatments, so men are encouraged to always carry their partners along in their fertility journey.
Talking about erectile dysfunction can be difficult but it is more important to seek help and get treated. Allowing this sexual health condition to continue without prompt treatment incites a lot of strain, stress, and pain on your relationship as well as it prevents you from having children. Lifestyle modifications such as exercising often, weight loss, quitting smoking and reducing alcohol intake can improve your erectile function. Speak with a doctor to confirm if medication is required and the best type of medication you will need. If medication therapy doesn’t improve your health, a penile implant might help.
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Please do not forget to contact us if you have any questions.
Information source: Medscape, Pubmed, Medline