Thursday, May 16, 2013

Is Medication Causing Your Erectile Dysfunction?

If you've experienced erectile dysfunction, you are not alone. According to the National Institutes of Health over 30 million Americans frequently have problems developing or keeping an erection. Your risk for ED goes up as you age, so its very important to be proactive in keeping your sexual health brimming before you have an issue in the first place.

The are many situations and stressors that can affect libido and the ability to have an erection, however in many cases the problem may be "under the hood". There are four things that need to be working correctly in order for men to sustain a normal erection.
  1. The stimulus from the brain must be present.
  2. The nerves directing the process must be functioning at 100%.
  3. The blood circulation to the penis must be adequate.
  4. The veins must be able to trap and keep the blood within the penis.
In many cases the nerve supply from the brain or nerves of the spine can be inhibited due to poor posture habits, previous spinal injury, or arthritis in the spine. As a Peoria chiropractor, I have seen huge improvements in nerve function with simple chiropractic adjustments to align the joints of the spine. Chiropractic adjustments are a safe and conservative treatment that works to restore nerve function in many different areas of the body. In addition, many postural issues and limited mobility due to arthritis can be corrected or improved with simple strengthening exercises.

In some instances, the blood supply to the penis can be affected due to muscle tension that restricts blood flow to the pelvic organs. When you relax musculature with therapeutic massage and restore normal posture with strengthening exercises, you can increase the blood flow necessary to sustain an erection.

Many men are not able to rely on the prescription medication that traditional medical doctors suggest due to negative interactions with their current medication. However, a recent study revealed that men taking medications may actually have an  INCREASED risk of erectile dysfunction. The 2012 study published in BJU International found erectile dysfunction was more prevalent the more medications men were taking. 

Increased risk percentages are listed below.
Men taking 0-2 Medications had a 15.9% increased risk of ED.
Men taking 3-5 Medications had a 19.7% increased risk of ED.
Men taking 6-9 Medications had a 25.5% increased risk of ED.
Men taking 10+ Medications had a 30.9% increased risk of ED.

1. Londono et al. "Population-based study of erectile dysfunction and polypharmacy". BJU International , 2012; 100(2):254-9.