How we treat people in healthcare has changed in a lot of ways. One of the better effects of that change is that people are more willing to come with us about their sexual problems nowadays. Sexual health is no longer quite as taboo as it used to be, so frank and honest discussion with our patients is more possible than ever. For that reason, we need to take more responsibility for helping them maintain their sexual health. Erectile dysfunction is one of the most common issues affecting male sexual health. Whilst medication is a good way of providing them a solution, there is more we can do. The following article is to help you identify ways of tackling the root cause with your patients’ erectile dysfunction.
Identifying erectile dysfunction
What is erectile dysfunction? A lot of patients may mistake it for low sex drive or a loss of libido. You need to recognise when the patient is unable to maintain an erection even when feeling sexual desire. Check for abnormalities in the penis. Performing rectal and abdominal examinations can help you identify the existence of the dysfunction.
Treating high blood pressure
Particularly in older patients, high blood pressure is one of the leading causes in erectile dysfunction. High blood pressure causes damage to the blood vessels in the penis. This makes it immediately difficult to supply the penis with the blood it needs to erect. Treating high blood pressure can reverse this damage and restore virility.
Going for a walk
Physical activity is incredibly important in the ability to maintain an erection. It’s not even necessary to do that much. Convince your patient to try walking two miles a day to prevent erectile dysfunction.
Male hormone therapy
A particular issue for aging patients, but a potential in all, is the risk of lower testosterone levels. This can be identified in other ways as well. More symptoms of testosterone loss include mental health changes and hair loss. Recommending hormone therapy may be the step needed. It could restore the balance to your patient and restore their sexual health amongst other things. Besides injections, it can come in gels and oral medication that they can take themselves.
Another leading cause of sexual impotence as well as the loss of libido can stem from mental conditions. Give your patient a neurological exam to eliminate the possibility of sensation and reflex. Try recommending them to a sex therapist. It could help them identify the mental conditions and underlying root causes of what manifests as sexual health issues.
Addictions have major effects on the ability to maintain an erection. Particularly smoking and alcohol dependencies. Your patient may have come about their erectile dysfunction. Still, it’s important to take information that might lead to the discovery of substance abuse. Alcoholism can cause permanent impotence, whereas cigarettes are another cause of blood vessel damage.
Don’t be afraid to prescribe medication in the short term to help your patients get over the immediate problem. However, it’s important to treat the underlying causes, if they can be treated.