One trend of the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic that took the health industry by surprise, was a dramatic increase in the number of erectile dysfunction cases. While life went on behind closed doors, Superdrug Online Doctor reported a 13% increase in Erectile Dysfunction (ED) treatments and services in May to June alone.
Erectile dysfunction affects half of men aged 40 to 70, and while numbers increase with age, 26% of men under 40 also suffer with impotence in varying degrees. Life under lockdown has made the situation progressively worse.
Many men simply refuse to talk about sexual health problems. According to a study by the Sexual Advice Association, some men find the subject of ED so embarrassing, they wait on average two years before reaching out for support.
A little education can go a long way and knowing more about what causes erectile dysfunction can help to increase confidence when addressing sexual health. Although occasional impotence isn’t a cause for concern, ‘fear of failure’ and additional health conditions can cause lasting
effects on both mental and physical health.
The most common causes of ED in older men is diseases such as:
- Hypertension / High blood pressure
- Nerve damage
- Heart disease
Physically, ED is caused by a narrowing of the penis blood vessels, resulting in the inability to achieve and or maintain an erection.
However, there are many other, lifestyle-related issues which contribute to this common problem:
- Carrying excess weight
- Lack of regular exercise
- Poor and unhealthy diet
- Alcohol intake
- Medication and recreational drugs
- Stress and tiredness
COVID made stress levels soar
The effects of the UK-wide Covid-19 lockdown played its part in the surge of erectile dysfunction cases. Stress levels were elevated as we got to grips with working from home, gyms and pools closing meant a lack of regular exercise options, plus drinking more alcohol and one too many takeaways have had a knock-on effect on men’s sexual health and ED cases in particular.
What are the solutions?
Making small changes to daily routines can increase the chances of achieving and maintaining an erection. If problems persist, there are a number of ways to get help.
Medication and vacuum pumps have traditionally been used to treat Erectile Dysfunction, coupled with lifestyle changes and counselling and have proven to be effective, if not short-lived.
Medication fails to treat the root cause of the condition and can result in unwelcome side effects. When prescribed over a long period of time, medication also becomes less effective.
When it comes to improving the long-term, physical symptoms of ED, Shockwave Therapy ESWT has proven to be hugely successful and is growing in popularity. With Shockwave Therapy ESWT treatments clinics are now able to offer programmes to patients with ED and urological problems that are quick, non-invasive and have proven to be effective as both an addition to drug treatments and a stand-alone cure.
Shockwave Therapy ESWT involves passing short, intense sound waves into affected tissues, which increases blood flow, has an analgesic effect and stimulates repair allowing the body to restart its own accelerated healing process. Reports suggest 70% of men treated with Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) for erectile dysfunction have experienced significant improvement in achieving and maintaining an erection.
There’s even more good news. More UK clinics are offering Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) for Erectile Dysfunction due to the multiple benefits for patients, and helping them to finally overcome feelings of embarrassment about their sexual health.