What's Healthy, and What's Not, in Bed

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Is It Erectile Dysfunction?

Q. My husband is 42, and we've had a very satisfying sex life. But all of a sudden, he's unable to get an erection at all. It's been two weeks now, and still nothing. Is this ED -- or could it be a sign of a more serious problem?

A. Usually ED begins gradually. But since your husband seems to have become impotent overnight and has remained that way, he should get a medical evaluation to check for a urological or prostate problem. Diabetes can also cause ED, as can many medications, such as tranquilizers, antidepressants, and those for lowering blood pressure or cholesterol. ED can also be a sign, especially in men 50 and older, of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. The arteries to the penis are like the arteries to the brain or heart and are subject to the same problems caused by high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, lack of exercise, smoking, etc.

A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that most men in their mid 40s who had ED but no known health problems had subtle abnormalities in the smooth muscles of their artery walls. The finding suggests that men with ED should be evaluated and treated more aggressively for such conditions as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, which are risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Continued on page 3:  Viagra and Other ED Drugs

 

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