7 surprising signs that erectile dysfunction could be in your future

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It’s true: even if you have a trouble-free erection now, you might still be on your way to erectile dysfunction.

However, penile problems do not usually appear out of the blue. In many cases, especially if we are talking about a physical cause of erectile dysfunction, rather than mental dysfunction – certain signs can be the harbinger of problems.

Sometimes a minor erection problem can be a sign that you are heading for disaster in the bag. It could also be how your body tells you you have another more serious problem to deal with, says S. Adam Ramin, MD, medical director of Urology Cancer Specialists in Los Angeles.

So, no penis problem should be ignored. Here, 7 unexpected signs that can point to erectile dysfunction down the line, and what to do if you notice them.

Nighttime and morning erections have nothing to do with feeling aroused – they happen because your brain releases less of the hormone norepinephrine, a hormone that prevents erections from happening all the time, while you sleep.

Having wood in the morning frequently is a good thing, as it indicates that the blood vessels that allow blood to flow to your penis are healthy, says Dr Ramin.

If you start to notice that you wake up with an erection less often than usual, it could mean that these blood vessels are not working as well as they should, making it harder for blood to flow into your penis. to become erect, Dr says Ramin. This means that the same problem preventing your morning wood could possibly stand up in the room, while you are actually trying get hard.

Now there is no magic number which means you might be in trouble. Any amount that is different from your normal raises the red flag.

If the things that usually keep you going aren’t working anymore, there’s a good chance your testosterone levels are below normal.

Testosterone is the main hormone responsible for your libido, says New York-based urologist and sex expert David Shusterman. If it crumbles, so can your desire to get started.

And if you’re not really in the mood, getting tough will be next to impossible.

In addition to a lack of sexy thoughts, you may also notice other signs of low testosterone, such as fatigue or changes in mood, difficulty building muscle or even developing a bowel.

The results of your annual lab test could indicate that your erection is in danger. Two of the most common tell? High cholesterol and high blood pressure.

High total cholesterol is 240 milligrams per deciliter (mg / dL) or more, and recent guidelines have just lowered the threshold for high blood pressure at 130/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or more.

High cholesterol and high blood pressure can damage your blood vessels, causing them to lose elasticity. This makes it harder for the vessels to expand, so more blood can flow into your penis, says Dr. Ramin.

This in turn can make the task more difficult. “If the vessels cannot dilate, there will not be enough blood flow to cause an erection,” he says.

Antidepressants and high blood pressure medications are particularly culprits, says Dr. Ramin.

Antidepressants like SSRIs (like Prozac or Paxil) and SNRIs (like Effexa XR and Cymbalta) make it harder for hormones and chemical signals that turn you on, like norepinephrine, to reach the brain, Dr. Ramin. And this drop in sex drive can make it harder to get an erection. Usually, you will start to notice these symptoms a few weeks after starting the medication.

Blood pressure medications, of course, work to lower your blood pressure. It’s good for your overall health, but it can be bad for your sex life. A lower BP means less blood flow to the arteries in your penis, which could mean hardening issues, says Dr. Ramin.

Gums that are swollen, sore, or bleeding when you brush your teeth or floss are likely signs of gum disease. It does not directly cause erectile dysfunction, but it does can trigger a chain of events this could create problems for your package, says Dr. Shusterman.

This is because gum disease can lead to inflammation throughout your body, which can damage your blood vessels. And if your blood vessels are not functioning properly, it will be harder for the blood to flow into your penis and make you hard.

You’re still getting tough enough for sex. But your penis could still signal a problem if you notice any change in your erection. In fact, it can be the early stage of erectile dysfunction.

“It’s usually a slow and gradual problem,” says Dr. Ramin. “At first, a patient may notice that their erections are not as firm, or that they are not able to maintain their erections as long as before.”

However, there is no threshold for determining how soft or short an erection must be to signify a problem. These are simply changes from your own personal standard, says Dr Ramin. It’s probably okay if it only happens once. But if you notice that this happens frequently, and you can’t think of a mental reason why you would have a hard time getting hard (like being very exhausted or stressed), it could indicate a bigger problem.

No matter what is robbing you of sleep, a lack of sleep can lead to problems in the erection department. This can be especially true if you have sleep apnea, a sleep disorder where your breathing frequently stops throughout the night.

Almost 70% of men who suffer from sleep apnea also have erectile dysfunction, according to the International Society of Sexual Medicine.

Sleep deprivation lowers testosterone levels and can make you more stressed or anxious, says Dr. Shusterman. And all of these things can kill your libido and make it harder to get an erection.

If you notice that your erections are starting to look unusual, talk to your doctor, recommends Dr. Ramin.

Sometimes the solution can be simple, such as adjusting your medications if you take prescriptions that interfere with your ability to get tough. If the problem turns out to be an underlying health problem, diagnosing and treating it could be the key to getting your erections back to normal. It could involve tests to measure things like your blood pressure, cholesterol, or testosterone.

Either way, your doctor might also be able to help you in the short term to keep your sex life from falling apart, for example by prescribing an ED medicine like Cialis, Viagra or Levitra.

This article was originally published by Men’s health.

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