Updated: Aug 6
Let’s talk about Erectile Dysfunction. It helps!
Do you relate to Ayushmann Khurana every time you watch “Shubh Mangal Saavdhan"? Do you, like him, also steer clear of intimate situations with your partner? Are you afraid that she might find out about your “problem”, and does this “problem” make you feel less of a man?
Well, if it does, then don’t. Because erectile dysfunction, more popularly known as impotence among men, is as medical a condition as anything else.
While it is natural to feel dejected and helpless, it is important to understand that it can happen to anyone, and that it is okay.
Its association with sexual performance unfortunately relates it with notions of manhood, or the lack of it, thereby making a hush-hush topic to talk about, but the fact remains that it can be as easily resolved as fever. Well, maybe not always. Sometimes it can be resolved like a fracture.
And, the good news is that you don’t have to go visit a shady looking babaji or a swamiji for that.
In India over 50 per cent men, particularly those above 40, are said to be affected by impotence, and Dr Sudhakar Krishnamurti, one of world’s well known experts on sexual health, blames poor lifestyle choices.
So, to begin your journey towards a better sexual life, check if you indulge in unhealthy habits like smoking and consuming alcohol, because if you do, then getting rid of them might just be your answer to bliss in bed.
Poor lifestyle also includes unhealthy eating habits that might lead to heart ailments, and Dr Krishnamurti, in one of his interviews, has mentioned how studies have shown a relation between the increasing number of men with heart diseases, and increasing number of men facing impotency issues.
You know you have an erectile dysfunction if your condition prevents you from engaging in sexual intercourse for over three months, and if a drastic change in lifestyle does not help, you know the problem is deeper.
A good read of informative articles, and a quick visit to a doc will help you diagnose the root cause, and also address it.
The causes of erectile dysfunction can range from anything as common as anxiety, and stress, to the side-effects of drugs prescribed for other ailments. It can also be a consequence of pre-existing conditions in your body, which you may or may not be aware of. So a thorough medical check-up is imperative.
And, once you’ve diagnosed the cause, all you have to do is seek the correct treatment.
More often than you would expect, the solution to your “problem” can be something as simple as inculcating an exercise routine in your day to day life.
Not only will it help prevent a possible case of erectile dysfunction in the future, it is highly likely to increase the serotonin levels in your body, and help dissipate a lot of that stress.
Like most psychological issues, ED and stress or anxiety work in circles — once you start facing ED issues, you get stressed, which in turn affects your sexual performance.
Often the anxiety gets worsened by thoughts of guilt of not being able to satisfy your partner.
Sounds familiar? So, it’s important that you go the extra mile, first to break out of this circle.
Sometimes, having a transparent conversation with your partner helps reduce so much of this stress. You are likely to feel better, almost immediately, after the first conversation.
Remember how Ayushmaan Khurrana talks it out with his partner Bhumi Pednekar in the film, and how they figure out a solution together? That is not just the stuff of films. It actually works.
Deeper psychological issues, like depression can of course be addressed through counselling sessions and therapy.
Several international studies have shown that nearly 25 per cent of men facing ED problems have reported to be suffering from depression or anxiety.
Sometimes the drugs used to treat mental health issues can be the very reason of ED, so a medical opinion is advised to diagnose the root cause.
But again, admitting your condition, first to yourself, and then to your partner, or a counsellor, or anybody who makes you feel safe, is the first step towards getting better. (talking makes everything better)
There are of course medicines and other treatments for cases where self help is not enough.
One can take medications that can be taken either orally or injected. In some cases, doctors also advise surgery, but that is only when everything else fails.
Suffering from any medical condition is challenging, even more so when it is something you can’t openly talk about.
However, having an erectile dysfunction is nothing to be ashamed of.
It is, at the end of the day, just another medical condition. So, just talk about it in a safe space, lead a healthy lifestyle, and seek the appropriate treatment, and you too will get a happy ending like Ayushmaan Khurrana.