Impotence Prevention Important to Men
Raise the issue of impotence prevention and a survey across several countries shows remarkable agreement amongst the men spoken to, regardless of cultures: half of all the men interviewed say they’d do “nearly anything” to cure impotence.
Men interviewed about impotence prevention said:
- Impotence is a source of great sadness to them and their partners
- Most feel they are not too old for sex
- Most agree it is important to feel they can perform sexually
- Half of all men say they’d do “nearly anything” to cure impotence
So what are the factors men can control to prevent impotence? It turns out there are many life style choices which have a big impact on whether impotence develops in later life. The most important of these is anything that affects bloodflow to the penis.
- A sedentary life style
Heart Health Key to Impotence Prevention
Heart health – and even more specifically cholesterol levels – appear to offer important keys in preventing impotence in later life, according to recent scientific studies.
Elevated blood cholesterol is becoming one of the most important risk factors for the development of impotence with a University of South Carolina study showing that a total cholesterol level of 240 mg/dl more than doubles the chances of developing severe impotence.
(Total cholesterol levels of less than 200 mg/dl are considered desirable, 200 – 239 mg/dl are borderline, and 240 mg/dl and over is considered high.)
About 80 per cent of all impotence is caused by arteriosclerosis, (hardening of the arteries) which is caused in turn by high cholesterol levels.
A meta-analysis of research published in the Journal of Internal Medicine reported on how lifestyle changes and medication to treat cardiovascular risks affected erectile dysfunction. In six studies that included 640 participants, four dealt with lifestyle changes, and two with the use of statins.
All studies showed that as diet and exercise improved along with lipid profiles (cholesterol levels), so did symptoms of erectile dysfunction.
Taking simple steps to care for your heart health:
- Exercising regularly
- Eating well
- Keeping weight at healthy levels
- Taking steps to reduce cholesterol levels can make a big difference in preventing impotence and maintaining sexual health.
Chronic Illness Factor in Impotence Prevention
A US National Institutes of Health study shows men with chronic illness like:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
are up to four times more likely to become totally impotent than men without these diseases.
- Smoking boosts impotence odds even higher.
And the medications used to treat many chronic conditions – for example high blood pressure medications – can also affect both sex drive and the ability to get an erection.
One Australian study on the sex lives of 32,000 men between the ages of 75 and 95 found beta blockers which are used to treat high blood pressure and heart disease were a major cause of reduced sexual activity.
If you’ve already developed a chronic illness like diabetes or high blood pressure, work with your doctor to ensure it is managed and controlled.
Research by Adelaide Professor Gary Wittert showed weight loss improved the sex lives of diabetic men.
Life style choices can still play a big role in optimising your health, and ensuring your medication does not have negative side effects as far as your sex life is concerned is something to discuss with your doctor. There are alternatives available.
Stress and Psychological Factors in Impotence
And anti-depressants are another class of medications likely to cause low sex drive and impotence.
Top Five Steps to Prevent Impotence
1) Exercise Regularly & Maintain Weight
There is consensus amongst researchers that obesity leads to impotence, and exercise improves all areas of health. (One study showed Olympic athletes lived three years longer than average, a result Melbourne University professor of health economics moderate weight loss.
2) Stop Smoking & Limit Alcohol and Drug Use
An Australian study showed men who smoked were much more likely to experience impotence. Moderate alcohol use (1 – 4 drinks) actually improves sexual performance according to another Australian study, but heavy use of alcohol and drugs raises the risk of impotence.
3) Check your Medication
Over 200 common over the counter medications can cause impotence, in addition to the prescription drugs from your doctor. The most common medications to cause sexual impotence are:
- beta blockers for heart disease and high blood pressure
- NSAID’s (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories) pain killers for joint and muscle pain like Ibuprofen
- SSRI class anti-depressants and anxiety meds (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors)
- and hay fever and sinus relief treatments
Don’t just give up your medication. Talk it over with your doctor and find a more compatible alternative.
4) Control Stress and Consider Counselling
Psychological stress from too much work, relationship issues and other personal trauma not only drains energy and confidence but also lowers hormone levels, particularly testosterone. Take whatever steps you need to get on top of stress. Take time out regularly, and if required talk to a professional counsellor or get couples counselling. Men’s Line Australia offers telephone counselling or find a counsellor in your locality through Relationships Australia.
5) Manage Medical Conditions
Don’t give up if you have a health condition which is causing impotence. There are many forms of treatment available for different situations. Work with your general practitioner to manage your health or consult sexual health specialists like the professionals at Impotence Australia.