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Erectile Dysfunction & Medication

Erectile dysfunction is a condition in which men struggle to keep or maintain an erection during intercourse. It is estimated that 15 to 30 million men suffer from erectile dysfunction. There are many factors that can cause erectile dysfunction, including poor blood flow, heart disease, and obesity. However, many men don’t realize that their medications can also complicate their erectile function.

Here are a few of the common medications that might lead to erectile dysfunction issues:

Anti-depressants. While depression can lead to low libido and lack of sexual desire, the medication which is used to treat it can also cause sexual function issues. Ironically, anti-depressants can cause a man to lose interest in sex as well as impact his ability to get and maintain erections. Unfortunately, some men are so distraught over this unwanted side effect that they stop taking their medication altogether and this can lead to negative mental health side effects.

However, there are options that can treat your depression without impacting your mental health. Talk to your doctor about your sexual side effects and examine your possible options. There are anti-depressant medications such as Wellbutrin that seem to have a lower risk of sexual side effects.

It’s also important to make sure that you aren’t on a higher dosage of anti-depressants than necessary, and that you also give your body time to adjust to your medication before you stop or switch to a different option. Some men find that if they give their body time to adjust to their anti-depressant that they gradually return to a comfortable level of sexual function and desire. 

Diuretics. High blood pressure can lead to erectile dysfunction, and the medication used to treat it (such as diuretics) can also complicate a man’s ability to achieve an erection. This is because diuretics decrease blood flow (and an erection is essentially the result of healthy circulation and blood flow to the penis). Diuretics can also impact the body’s level of zinc, and zinc is necessary to help create testosterone.

Low levels of testosterone can impact a man’s libido and sexual response. Talk to your doctor about your erectile dysfunction and ask if it could be a possible side effect of your medication, then find out if there are other options available to you. Exercise and a healthy diet can help to decrease blood pressure and improve blood flow, all of which can add up to better sexual function down the road.

Beta-Blockers. Like diuretics, beta-blockers are used to treat high blood pressure. While this medication can be invaluable in safeguarding a man’s health and decreasing his blood pressure, they can also impact his ability to achieve an erection. If you are experiencing sexual side effects, talk to your doctor about your options.

The bottom line is that a healthy lifestyle can greatly improve your physical health and decrease your need for medications. While medications can be life-saving, they also can come with a host of side effects that might complicate your sexual health. Hence, a healthy life can be an important step in decreasing your need for medication and helping you to maintain a fulfilling, pleasurable sex life.

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