Erectile Dysfunction- a medical condition that affects more than 1 crore Indian men a year yet a topic that is so less talked about. It took Ayushman Khurana to do a movie called Shubh Mangal Savdhan to actually get people to talk about this issue. But why is there so much shame and stigma attached to a medical condition that is so common? Why is it that most men can’t talk about it without being judged or getting ridiculed? Today let us break all the taboo associated with this issue and talk about erectile dysfunction freely and openly.
What is Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction, or ED, is the inability to achieve or sustain an erection firm enough for sex. It is estimated that 1 out of every 4 men in the US experience this condition by the age of 40. However, as simple as the issue might sound, it has much deeper repercussions. Men experiencing erectile dysfunction are likely to go through mental trauma and in most cases, it can damage their confidence and can lead to feelings of guilt, depression, and anxiety.
But why is this so? The answer lies in the fact that our society links a man’s sexuality with his masculinity and hence whenever a man is unable to perform sexually it is taken as a dent on his masculinity. Hence it is not only a physical or sexual issue but a psychological one as well.
Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction is related to issues with nerves, blood flow, and hormones, and can be caused by both physical and psychological factors. In the physical domain factors that can contribute to erectile dysfunction are
- Kidney disease
- Heart disease
- Prostate cancer treatment
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure and other factors too.
Erectile dysfunction can also be caused by means of psychological reasons like depression, anxiety, fear of intimacy and so on. In case you want to know more about signs of depression in a man, check this out
More often than not erectile dysfunction can be dealt with by adopting a healthy lifestyle and taking initiatives like cutting down on alcohol, smoking, losing weight can go a long way in dealing with erectile dysfunction. However, if the problem persists for months, it is advisable to visit the doctor.
The Way Forward
While erectile dysfunction can be treated easily, the shame and stigma that comes with it can’t be. Hence the first step to deal with this issue from the root level is to delink the toxic relationship between masculinity and sexuality. And this can be done by talking about it. The more we talk about it, the more there will be awareness and the more men will come out to speak about their issues freely without the fear of being judged or without having being questioned about their masculinity.