Most men would like to have a sexual function like at 17 years. However, relative erectile dysfunction begins at a fairly early age. The first disturbances about sexual function most often appear in 50 years, although physiologically peak of erectile dysfunction is only 90 years!
But it’s not just men who are interested! Women are also fully interested in good sexual health of their men, as evidenced by research data from Sexual Health and Overall Wellness survey (SHOW) 2010. In this study, 3,780 respondents (1,893 men and 1,877 women) from 9 European countries were interviewed. It was found that 58% of men and 64% of women are completely unhappy with their sexual lives, and 87% of men and 77% of women are interested in improving it.
Is it True that Sex is SO Important?
We no longer live in the 19th century, when religious and social norms and dogmas forbade talking about it. Sex is one of the most important vital functions that affect the quality of a person’s life, the stability of the family and, accordingly, the upbringing of children. And men – not an exception, because for women harmonious sexual life is also important!
Unfortunately, repeated episodes of erectile dysfunction can cause disagreement in a relationship, sense of humiliation, reduced ability to concentrate, as a result – reduced performance. There is alienation from the partner, withdrawal «in oneself», understated self-esteem, then depression follows.
How does Cardiovascular Disease Affect Men’s Health?
Dysfunction and chronic inflammation of endothelium (inner layer of the vessel in which atherosclerotic plaques form) is the initial stage of atherosclerosis. According to the INTERHEART study, 9 variable risk factors determine the risk of myocardial infarction by 90%. These are smoking, diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, obesity in the abdomen, psychosocial stress, malnutrition, sedentary lifestyle, abuse of alcohol. Risk factors determine the presence of endothelial dysfunction and the development of atherosclerosis. Especially pronounced endothelial dysfunction is in patients with hypertension (high blood pressure). At high blood pressure with age, especially if hypertension is not well controlled (treated), the risk of erectile dysfunction increases.
The presence of erectile dysfunction may be the first manifestation of asymptomatic atherosclerosis because in most cases the cause of dysfunction is vascular (due to blood vessels). Process of atherosclerosis and endothelial dysfunction – defeat of vessel (as a cause of cardiovascular diseases) – can initially be in small arteries 1 – 2 mm in diameter (small blood vessels of genitals!), and only later – coronary arteries of heart (3 – 4 mm), carotid arteries (5 – 7 mm) and femoral, or pelvic, arteries (6 – 8 mm). Risk factors that enhance erectile dysfunction are diabetes and smoking.
Often erectile dysfunction is observed in patients with already expressed ischemic heart disease. From the appearance of erectile dysfunction to the onset of symptoms of ischemic heart disease it takes at average 3 years, which is sufficient time for a patient to examine, correct existing risk factors, change lifestyle, start and consolidate treatment.
There are many stories about how drugs for the treatment of heart diseases cause erectile dysfunction, but let’s think sensibly – drugs that treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol and sugar, reduce vascular damage and development of atherosclerosis, that is, reduce endothelial dysfunction and at the same time – erectile dysfunction!
«Golden Rules» for Preservation and Improvement of Sexual Health
Don’t drink, don’t smoke!
It would also be useful to remove excess weight because it will also reduce blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol and – improve sexual function! To reduce weight it is necessary to correctly balance habits of food and regular exercises.
The so-called «folk remedies» for sexual health:
- Vitamin A (vitamin A deficiency increases erectile dysfunction). Do not abuse it – too large doses are harmful to the liver! How to get it? Eat carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes!
- Vitamin B1 is found in lean meat, whole grain rice, legumes, wheat, yeast.
- Magnesium takes part in the synthesis of sex hormones (found in olive oil, nuts, black chocolate).
- Zinc – at lack of zinc erectile dysfunction is observed (marine products, liver, legumes, nuts, lean meat).
- Vitamin C increases fertility and motor ability of spermatozoa (broccoli, paprika, pomegranates, tomatoes).
- Natural antioxidants – resveratrol, quercetin, citrulline, arginine (red wine – in small quantities!, garlic, coffee, tea).
If you look closely, this menu completely corresponds to principles of the Mediterranean diet – style of nutrition, which in studies is recognized as the best in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
The Best Decision is to Ask a Doctor
Questions patients are facing: Who to ask for advice? How to stop atherosclerosis? How to improve sexual function? Is it possible to take drugs to improve sexual function (for example, Viagra)? Can I take them to certain heart diseases? After heart surgery? The most correct thing is to ask your doctor these questions. If there is a diagnosis of heart disease, you should definitely ask a doctor about the sexual activity: is it possible, when is it possible, whether it is possible to take pills to improve sexual function.
Can Patients with Cardiovascular Diseases Have Sex?
Patients with satisfactory tolerability of loads without symptoms of cardiac angina, without increasing dyspnea and ischemic changes in ST-segment, after a load test.
When Patients should not Have Sex?
Patients with frequent attacks of cardiac angina, severe shortness of breath when exercising, as well as patients whose sexual activity causes attacks of cardiac angina. The risk of a heart attack during sex is increased by the intake of food and alcohol before sex.
Cardiac rehabilitation and regular exercises are necessary to stabilize the clinical situation of the patient with cardiovascular disease and reduce the risk of complications also during sex.
Patients with a stable diagnosis of heart disease and a stable clinical situation can take drugs to improve sexual function. Since these are prescription drugs, in order to prescribe them, you will need to discuss with your doctor whether you can take these pills – are there any situations when you should be careful; whether there are preparations (nitroglycerine), simultaneously with which it is impossible to take these pills. After receiving advice from a doctor, a patient can be calm.
How can Women «Save» Men from Ailments, Including Erectile Dysfunction?
First, caring about a healthy diet at home and making your man move. Regular «home exercises» is also a good sport! If you also walk to the store at a quick pace, and not by car, then the physical load will help to maintain a normal weight. And if with the help of children it will be possible to persuade a man to quit smoking (if there is this harmful habit), then the positive effect on blood pressure, vascular health and, finally, sexual function will be clearly visible.
It would not hurt to periodically measure blood pressure and give blood for analysis (sugar, cholesterol) because neither high blood pressure nor high cholesterol initially causes obvious symptoms. These problems need to be «caught» in time so that by simple prophylaxis they can be prevented. If a doctor has found cardiac or vascular disease, then you need to monitor and take medications regularly, as well as regularly control your condition with a doctor.
Women, with very little effort, can do infinitely much for the health of their men (husband, father, sons), raising in the family responsible for their health, habits of proper nutrition, regular exercise and optimistic view on life, that together is the basis of strong families!