6 Lies About ED That Persist Despite Evidence
Unfortunately, a lot of mistruths and downright lies about erectile dysfunction (ED) get perpetuated despite plenty of available scientific evidence. ED, defined as the persistent inability to get or keep an erection that's hard enough for sex, is a common health problem that affects men of all ages. Knowing the facts about ED can help you get the necessary treatment for a more fulfilling sex life with your partner.
Lie 1: ED happens only to older men.
While it's true that erectile dysfunction is more common among older men, especially those older than 40, ED can happen at any age. ED may affect up to 8 percent of men ages 20 to 29 and 11 percent of those ages 30 to 39, and up to 52 percent of all men experience some level of ED, according to the Massachusetts Male Aging Study in the 1990s.
It's clear that age isn't the only reason behind ED. Other risk factors include:
- Relationship problems
- Chronic diseases
- Tobacco use
- Prostate surgery
- Radiation treatment
- Drug and alcohol use
- Some medications
- Low testosterone levels
To reduce these non-age-related ED risk factors, adopt healthy lifestyle habits and properly manage chronic diseases if you have them. If your prescription medications affect your sex life, ask your doctor if it's possible to change your regimen.
Lie 2: It's all about attraction.
After realizing their partner is suffering from ED, some people may take it personally and wonder, "Am I causing my partner's ED? Am I not attractive enough?" Likewise, a man may begin to doubt he's still physically attracted to his partner. But the real deal is that these feelings are a complete myth: Men can be sexually and physically attracted to their partners and still suffer from ED. The physical and psychological causes of ED have nothing to do with attraction; however, relationship problems, in general, can be a factor in or the result of ED. Open and honest communication between partners is the best way to alleviate any doubts about attraction.
Lie 3: ED treatment requires oral medication.
If you have ED, you don't have to rely on oral medications to treat the problem. Numerous other erectile dysfunction treatments are within reach, many of which are more desirable. Examples include making healthy lifestyle changes for your physical and mental health, testosterone replacement therapy, therapy or counseling, and noninvasive wearable devices, such as vacuum pumps and Eddie by Giddy®.
Lie 4: Lifestyle habits don't affect ED.
Some lifestyle habits are common risk factors for ED, despite what you may have heard. Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, using illicit drugs and being overweight can all contribute to erectile dysfunction. Making healthier choices to avoid these pitfalls, as well as exercising more vigorously, eating nutritious foods and getting better sleep, can have a positive impact in the bedroom.
Giddy experts Dr. Bob Harding and Lahana Vigliano explain the importance of exercise and nutrition related to ED in the ED Guide video series. Click here to watch the video.
Lie 5: Insurance doesn't cover ED treatment.
You might be pleasantly surprised to find out that your insurance company pays for certain ED treatments. So if you're avoiding doctor's visits for ED because of unknown costs, call your insurance provider to get the scoop on which ED treatments are covered. If your insurance plan doesn't cover your desired treatment or you're uninsured, many medical providers offer cash-pay patient discounts.
Lie 6: Tight underwear causes ED.
If you struggle with ED, you might be wondering if tight underwear is the culprit. While tight-fitting underwear may feel uncomfortable, it's not a known cause or risk factor for erectile dysfunction. Choose underwear that fits well and feels comfortable for you.
Don't fall for common ED myths. Knowing the difference between lies and research-backed facts regarding erectile dysfunction can help you get the treatment needed to restore erectile function, revitalize intimate relationships with your partner and improve your overall quality of life.