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Complications & Prevention Of Erectile Dysfunction

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30 November, 2022
How Do You Prevent Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile Dysfunction
How To Prevent Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction, a common sexual dysfunction, is a disorder that can affect both physical and psychological health. Due to the popular opinion that it can’t be treated or helped, many individuals choose to either ignore their symptoms or hesitate to ask for professional help.


However, it’s important to understand what happens with untreated or unmaintained ED symptoms. As with every medical condition, there are complications that can occur if it isn’t treated. In fact, Erectile Dysfunction can be an indicator for other medical conditions such as heart or cardiovascular disease.


Treatment for ED is dependent on the cause of your ED symptoms – this includes checking for any underlying conditions that could be causing erection trouble. These underlying conditions could be chronic health conditions such as past heart attacks (myocardial infarction), diabetes or high blood pressure (hypertension). The first-line treatment for ED is medicative oral therapy or prescription medications, and psychological counselling sessions should the cause have a psychological factor.

Medications such as Phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor (PDE-5 inhibitors) or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are commonly prescribed, while psychological factors or mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety are addressed in therapy sessions.


Before treatment is considered, a holistic evaluation may require diagnostic tests such as complete blood count (CBC – a blood test), checking lipid profiles, and  morning testosterone levels and/or cholesterol levels. The improvement recovery of erectile function symptoms depends on the compliance in treatment – it’s important to be consistent.


Understanding the complications associated with ED symptoms if not treated, will also help you understand how you can prevent it. Seeing a clearer picture and how it affects your sex life will also help eliminate the fear and hesitancy associated with seeking holistic treatment.

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Complications Of Erectile Dysfunction

Angry husband and wife sorting things out of due to Erectile Dysfunction

While erectile dysfunction isn’t immediately dangerous to health, it can cause various psychological and physical complications. These include:

  • Interpersonal concerns with a partner and unsuccessful pregnancy attempts
    • The lack of a satisfactory sex life or the inability to conceive can cause a strain in a relationship. Sexual dysfunction affects both partners – mentally and emotionally.
  • Insecurity, low self-esteem, and embarrassment
    • Many people experience their symptoms in silence, and the lack of help they receive can take a toll on their mental health leading to doubts, insecurities, decreased confidence and self-esteem, etc.
  • Mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression
    • Depression and anxiety caused by the psychological strain of the symptoms can gradually occur. People feel helpless in their situation, and resort within themselves to cope or resort to other unhealthy coping mechanisms.
  • Lack of diagnosing conditions ED may indicate medical conditions such as heart disease
    • Heart disease therefore can occur due to reduced blood flow to the heart due to atherosclerosis along with impairing blood vessel function. Erectile function is also highly dependent on adequate blood flow. Therefore, if an individual is experiencing ED, experts suggest it is the right approach to consider monitoring and maintaining one’s heart health. It is important to remember that endothelial dysfunction also commonly affects the blood vessels in the penis first.
  • Fertility Issues
    • Erectile dysfunction is commonly referred to as impotence, due to the fact that most that experience ED symptoms are unable to consummate their relationship (they are unable to penetrate due to insufficient erection required for penetration).

It is often falsely believed that the prevention of a sexual dysfunction such as Erectile Dysfunction can’t be prevented. Due to the various causes that lead to ED, there are ways that you can help improve your symptoms and prevent them from recurring.

Prevention Of Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction can be prevented by incorporating healthy lifestyle choices. Your physical health and mental health both affect your sexual health. Taking care of your health and staying on top of it can help you be healthier in all aspects.

  • Treating medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes (high blood sugar), drops in testosterone levels
    • Both heart diseases and diabetes are risk factors that contribute to an ED diagnosis. If you have been diagnosed with it or have symptoms that correlate with it, it is advised that you continue the treatment that your doctor has prescribed for you. Leaving these chronic diseases untreated can worsen your health, and worsen ED symptoms.
  • Treating mental health conditions such as anxiety, OCD and depression
    • Mental health conditions such as anxiety, OCD and depression also contribute as risk factors of ED. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD is classified as an anxiety disorder and can contribute to Performance Anxiety or anxious thoughts during sexual intercourse or sexual activity.
  • Treating correlated sexual health dysfunction
    • Sexual conditions such as sexual performance anxiety, premature ejaculation, and low sexual desire can lead to erectile dysfunction. They should be appropriately treated by a mental health professional/ sexual wellness expert/ doctor.
  • Making positive lifestyle changes
    • Discontinue vices such as smoking and recreational drinks and limit alcohol intake
    • Following a moderate exercise routine (such as Kegel exercises or aerobic exercises) and a healthy diet

Does Smoking Tobacco Affect Your Sex Life?

Smoking Addiction Flat Composition

Smoking has been linked to negatively impacting heart and blood vessel health – both of which significantly impact erectile function. Smoking does increase your chances of experiencing erectile dysfunction.


  • Lower Sexual Desire/Low Libido: Smoking lowers testosterone levels in individuals along with increasing the levels of carbon monoxide in the body. The latter, too, reduces testosterone production which can lead to a lower libido. Low sexual desire regardless of sexual stimulation could be due to various reasons that should be determined by a sexual health expert.
  • Erectile Dysfunction: Nicotine, present in cigarettes, negatively affects blood flow which is significantly important for apt sexual function. Furthermore, cigarettes can also cause inflammation in the blood vessels which only worsens the blood flow required to sustain an erection. Smokers have an increased risk of developing ED regardless of their age or any commodities they may have.
  • Infertility/Impotence: Tobacco use can affect fertility in both men and women – from DNA damage in the egg/sperm to reducing the chances of pregnancy. If the male suffers from ED, this too can make it hard for a couple to conceive.

Does Your Alcohol Intake Affect Your Sex Life?

man drinking alcohol in bar. Depressed male character with sexual life problems

Alcohol is considered to be a nervous system depressant in which case it can affect respiration, nerve sensitivity, and circulation. Furthermore, alcohol consumption or alcohol abuse also causes dehydration which can impact blood and oxygen flow – this is where sexual dysfunction comes into the picture. The mind and body work together when it comes to sexual intercourse – which means that if they aren’t working together there can be issues in either of the following stages: sexual arousal, intercourse, and climax. Blood flow is an essential part of sexual health.

How does diet help with Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?

You may have heard that ED could be an early indicator of heart disease. Blood flow is one of the most important factors when it comes to getting and maintaining an erection. Health concerns, some of which are closely associated with a bad diet, can increase the risk of developing or worsening ED symptoms.


These health issues include being physically inactive, binge drinking, atherosclerosis, and most importantly, obesity. Diets that are high in fats, and carbohydrates, contribute to obesity, which further can lead to worsening ED symptoms. Do you see the connection?


Some foods improve erectile function by aiding in improved blood flow and increased testosterone and nitric oxide production.


You may be wondering, what are some foods that help with this and why do they help? Find out!

How can you actively prevent Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?

This is what experts suggest you keep in mind:

  • Engage in healthy lifestyle habits such as healthy diet, and regular exercise or physical activity.
  • Manage and stay on top of your circulatory health and hormonal health (levels of testosterone)
  • Manage chronic condition diagnosis such as diabetes, hypertension, etc.
  • Speak to your doctor about any medications that you think could be causing your ED symptoms
  • Treat your substance abuse by approaching a professional
  • Manage any medications that could lead to ED such as anti-seizure medications
  • Have regular checkups with a health care provider to stay on top of your health

What you should tell your doctor about your ED symptoms?

Inform your doctor:


  • About the medical and mental health conditions you are diagnosed with such as coronary artery disease, hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, prostatic hyperplasia, pelvic nerve damage, penile arteries damage, penile nerve function, anxiety, depression, etc.
  • About your medical history: such as vascular surgery, or pelvic surgery
  • About any medications you have been prescribed
  • About any symptoms that cause you pain or discomfort or affecting your quality of life


A physical exam is not always required for Erectile Dysfunction to be diagnosed.

Sexual health is as important as physical and mental health. In most cases, one consultation can go a long way. Personalised, discreet, and judgement-free treatment at your fingertips – book an online consultation with one of Allo’s leading experts.
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