I know erectile dysfunction (ED) isn’t a popular topic, but it needs to be talked about! Far too many men try to ignore this condition, and that can lead to anxiety, depression and other problems. On top of that, ED is sometimes connected to a serious underlying health problem, including diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, according to the Urology Care Foundation (https://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/erectile-dysfunction(ed)).
This condition does not always pop up out of nowhere. There are often some signs that it is developing, including the ones listed below.
There’s no morning erection
A morning erection has nothing to do with arousal. It actually happens because when you sleep, your brain doesn’t release as much noradrenaline, the hormone responsible for preventing erections from happening constantly. An early morning erection is actually a good thing as it shows the blood vessels that let blood flow to the penis are normal. So, if you start walking up with an erection less often than you used to, it may mean those blood vessels are not working as well as they are supposed to, making it harder for blood to flow to the penis.
There are problems sleeping
A lack of sleep can lead to issues with erections, and this is especially true if you are suffering from sleep apnea. As noted by the Comprehensive Sleep Care Center, there appears to be a link between ED and sleep apnea, with one German study finding that 70 percent of men who went for sleep apnea treatments also suffered from ED (https://comprehensivesleepcare.com/2018/02/16/sleep-apnea-and-ed/). Not getting good enough sleep can cause your levels of testosterone to drop and make you feel more anxious or stressed, all of which dent libido and make getting an erection more difficult.
There’s bad news about your blood pressure or cholesterol
Your lab results from your doctor can hint that ED is on the horizon, with the two most common signs being high blood pressure or cholesterol. A high total cholesterol level is anything over 240 mg/dL, and high blood pressure is generally anything over 138/80 mm/Hg. Of course, one high blood pressure reading doesn’t necessarily mean you have hypertension, but repeated high readings do.
High blood pressure or cholesterol can damage the blood vessels in your body, making them lose elasticity. This, in turn, makes it harder for the vessels to widen so blood can flow into your penis.
If you encounter any of the signs above, it’s time to talk it out with your doctor. By determining the potential causes of your troubles, you can head ED off at the pass.