‘The Canary in the Coal Mine’ — Encouraging Honest Conversations about Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile Dysfunction (ED) can have a significant and lasting impact on male health and relationships, yet the condition is rarely talked about openly and honestly by sufferers. In a recent article for Joo Mag, Dr Kamm Mann, chief physician at The Mann Clinic, urged sufferers of ED to enter into an honest conversation about how the condition is impacting their sexual lives and relationships with a partner or physician.
Older Men Are More at Risk of Developing ED
More than fifty per cent of men aged between forty and seventy have suffered from erectile dysfunction at some point, and the risk of developing ED increases as you get older. In the future, ED is expected to become even more prevalent as more men make unhealthy lifestyle choices in later life that lead to obesity, diabetes, testosterone deficiency, heart disease and high blood pressure, which are all related to ED.
Why ED Is So Difficult to Talk About
Erectile dysfunction is a subject that many men feel too embarrassed to talk about. Dr Mann has helped hundreds of men to overcome the issue of ED and has been told by many patients that they find it difficult to talk openly with their friends or partners about their sexual problems. This is despite the fact that erectile dysfunction — where a man struggles to get or maintain a full erection on a persistent or recurrent basis — can have a profound effect on men and their partners.
According to Dr Mann, “studies have shown men don’t seek help for ED because they don’t even realise that it is, in fact, a medical problem. They are embarrassed, not just for themselves, but also for their doctor!” The lack of open discussion about ED and educational information available on the subject leads to confusion on the part of sufferers about what they are experiencing, as well as a lack of understanding about the potential treatments available.
ED is often referred to as the “canary in the coal mine” because it can be an early warning sign of narrowing arteries, which can lead to heart disease and an increased risk of suffering a heart attack in the future. Erectile dysfunction is also a signal that other issues may be at play, such as a hormone imbalance, which can cause depression, weight gain, loss of strength and brittle bones. This, in addition to the direct impact of ED on men’s sexual health and happiness, means that it is a condition that should never be ignored.
The Impact of ED on Men and Their Partners
Erectile dysfunction causes serious distress not only to men who suffer from the condition but also to their partners. Dr Mann comments that the impact of erectile dysfunction is often very significant, leading to “a loss of self-esteem, relationship issues and performance anxiety.” ED often leads to depression and heightened stress, especially if the cause of it is psychological, or if it’s caused by relationship problems, self-esteem issues or unhappiness at work or home. Getting to the bottom of what is causing erectile dysfunction as quickly as possible is essential to regaining a healthy and happy sex life.
How You Can Support a Loved One Who Is Suffering from ED
Dr Mann urges loved ones to be aware of how additional stresses in their partner’s work or personal lives can affect men who already feel vulnerable due to ED. This is particularly an issue at specific points of the year, for instance, when feeling pressure ahead of the Christmas holidays or facing anxiety related to sticking to a New Year’s resolution or a renewed commitment to wellness. Being patient, supportive and understanding is the key to helping your loved one to regain normal erections and healing your sexual relationship.
Treatments Available for Erectile Dysfunction
There are various treatments available for erectile dysfunction, but one of the most important ways to tackle the condition head on is to make lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, reducing alcohol intake, moving more, and reducing the amount of processed foods and refined sugars you consume. You should also do everything possible to reduce stress and anxiety, and address any relationship issues that could be contributing to your inability to gain or maintain an erection.
If medical treatment is sought, various topical gels, creams, injections and pills are available to directly address the symptoms of ED. This can be discussed in the safe and understanding environment of The Mann Clinic. You can get in touch with Dr Mann via your GP or by calling us directly.