Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction: Is It Real?
Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is the inability of a man to get or maintain a full erection while performing sexual intercourse. The repeated and consistent problems in erection render a man unfit to engage in sexual activity. The University of Washington in Seattle concludes that 1 in 5 men suffer from this kind of impotency. According to The National Institutes of Health, around 30 million men in the US suffer from erectile dysfunction. The number increases with age, affecting approx. 12% of men below 60, and 30% of men above 70.
ED occurs occasionally in men, but it can be a long-term or permanent condition as well. There are many physical and psychological factors that can contribute to this problem such as an underlying medical condition like diabetes, consistent fatigue, poor physical health, depression, stress, anxiety, hormonal disorders, side effects from certain medications such as steroids, and more. Bad lifestyle habits such as smoking or consumption of alcohol can also cause the onset of erectile dysfunction symptoms. However, according to Johns Hopkins, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and a lack of physical activity are the most common causes. While these are considered the most possible culprits, many don’t know that erectile dysfunction can be porn-induced too.
What Is Erectile Dysfunction?
As stated above, Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is a condition in which a man can’t achieve or keep an erection firm enough to perform sexual intercourse. This inability, which is also sometimes referred to as impotency, can be due to physical or emotional difficulties that need to be treated with erectile dysfunction pills or therapies. In most cases, physical problems are the main culprit, but relationship collisions and environmental stress can also cause the body to lose interest in sex.
What Is Porn Induced Erectile Dysfunction?
Some studies have found that watching too much porn can also be a cause of ED. But, not all experts agree with the same.
In fact, many other studies have contradicted this reason, saying that men who watch more porn films instead have been reported to have a stronger sexual arousal. Now, where is the catch? Well, experts say that pornography is not a physical but psychological cause of ED. Men who are well-confident about their sexual approaches use porn films positively in their lives for enhanced pleasure. However, men who are conservative in their relationship, who are not confident about themselves, or have some kind of stigma related to sex may experience erectile dysfunction symptoms.
Some men, based on what’s shown in porn movies, set unrealistic expectations in real life related to their partner and how their ideal sex life should be. When the reality doesn’t meet those fantasies, it makes it difficult for men to engage themselves completely in the sexual activity, which is important for achieving erection.
What Are the Causes of Erectile Dysfunction?
A man achieves erection when there is an increased blood flow into the penis. This increased flow is usually stimulated by either direct sexual contact or sexual thoughts. The penis muscles relax when the man becomes more sexually excited. This relaxation stimulates the flow of more blood through the penile arteries, filling the erection chambers inside the penis called the corpora cavernosa. The penis becomes firm when these chambers fill with blood. When the ejaculation occurs or stimulation stops, the penis muscles contract and the filled blood flows out through the arteries, ending the erection.
ED occurs due to problems at any stage of the erection. For instance, certain medications or drug abuse can cause damage to the penile arteries. Thus, they do not open properly to allow blood in. The nervous and hormonal triggers, that also contribute to erection during sexual touch or stimuli, can be affected by psychological disorders such as depression. The obsession with pornography can also contribute to this.
Some of the most common causes of erectile dysfunction are:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson's disease
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Damage from cancer or surgery
- Relationship issues
- Drug abuse
- Tobacco use
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- Certain medications
- Sleep disorders
- Watching too much porn
Some of the physical problems as mentioned above can be treated by erectile dysfunction pills or erectile dysfunction pumps, self-injections, surgery, implants, and more. Psychological problems such as porn-induced erectile dysfunction and depression may require counseling.
What Are the Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction symptoms might include sporadic or persistent:
• Difficulty getting an erection
• Difficulty keeping an erection
• Reduced libido (sexual desire)
How Is Erectile Dysfunction Medically Diagnosed?
In most cases, doctors diagnose ED simply by asking the patient questions regarding their erection difficulties or medical history. If the doctor suspects that your obsession with pornography is the main reason behind this problem, he may suggest certain medications along with psychological therapy to solve the issue.
However, if the doctor suspects that an underlying medical condition can also be the cause of your problem, he might suggest that you undergo further tests or a consultation with a specialist.
These tests might include:
- Physical examination: Your doctor might perform close examination of your penis and testicles. He may also check your nerves for sensation.
- Blood tests: A blood test is performed to check for signs of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, low testosterone levels, and other underlying medical conditions.
- Urine tests (urinalysis): A Urine test is also performed to check for signs of diabetes and other medical conditions.
- Ultrasound: During this procedure, a transducer device is held over the blood vessels that supply the penis. A video image is created by the device which lets your doctor see if there is a blood flow problem. The doctor may also inject medications into the penis before performing the ultrasound to stimulate blood flow and cause an erection.
- Overnight erection test: Most men achieve erections while they are sleeping, without even realizing them. In this test, a special device is wrapped around the penis before the person goes to bed to measure the number and strength of erections achieved overnight. This data helps doctors determine whether your ED is related to physical or psychological issues.
- Psychological counseling: Your doctor might ask you certain questions to check for psychological causes of ED such as depression. Some men might require specialized tests such as Color duplex Doppler ultrasonography, penile arteriography, Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and Nocturnal penile erection monitoring to diagnose the underlying cause of ED.
What Are the Various Treatment Options for Erectile Dysfunction?
If you already have any underlying medical condition, your doctor will first confirm whether you are getting the appropriate treatment for that or not, as certain treatments or medications can cause or worsen the erectile dysfunction.
Your doctor will then discuss different treatment options with you for ED based on the severity of your problem and the underlying medical condition.
Some of these treatment options include:
1. Oral Medications
Oral medications such as Sildenafil (Viagra), Tadalafil (Cialis), Avanafil (Stendra), and Vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn) are successful treatment options for many men. These medications help relax muscles in the penis and increase blood flow which allows you to achieve an erection. However, sexual stimulation is required first to make these medications work. These erectile dysfunction pills are not aphrodisiacs that cause excitement. They are just used to treat ED in men who can’t get normal erections.
Some medications such as papaverine, alprostadil, and phentolamine are injected directly into the penis to get an erection. These self-injections help the person achieve an erection that lasts about 20 to 40 minutes.
3. Alprostadil Urethral Suppository
In this therapy, a tiny alprostadil suppository is placed inside the penis in the penile urethra using a special applicator to achieve an erection. The erection lasts between 30 and 60 minutes.
4. Testosterone Replacement
Sometimes low testosterone levels in men can also cause ED. In this case, doctor recommends testosterone replacement therapy as the first step. This therapy can be delivered via patch, injection, gel, gum and cheek, subcutaneous pellet, intranasal, or oral medication.
5. Penis Pumps, Implants, and Surgery
If oral medications are not effective or not suitable in your case, you might be recommended different treatment options such as:
- Penis pumps: An erectile dysfunction pump is a vacuum erection device used to treat ED. It is a hollow tube with a pump which is hand or battery powered. In this treatment, the tube is placed over the penis and then the pump is used to suck out the air inside the tube. A vacuum is created that brings blood into your penis. Once the erection is achieved, you need to slip a tension ring around the base of your penis to keep it rigid. You can then remove the vacuum device. The erection achieved through this method typically lasts long enough to have sexual intercourse. The tension ring can be removed after the sex is over.
- Penile implants: In this treatment, devices or implants are surgically placed into both sides of the penis. These devices comprise of either inflatable or semi-rigid rods. While the inflatable implants allow you to control when and how long you achieve an erection, the semi-rigid rods keep your penis rigid but bendable.
- Surgery: This type of treatment is performed very rarely. In this case, obstructed penile arteries are bypassed to treat ED.
6. Psychological Counseling
If your ED is caused by psychological disorders such as depression, stress, anxiety, or pornography, you might be suggested to visit a psychologist. If you are facing difficulties in your relationship, he may also suggest you and your partner visit a counselor.
Are There Any Erectile Dysfunction Exercises?
There are several sensual and non-sensual exercises you can perform to treat your erectile dysfunction at home. Following are a few of them:
1. Kegel Exercises
Kegel exercises are often prescribed to women who need to restore their muscle tone after child birth. However, these are quite useful for men too. Kegel exercises are pelvic floor exercises in which you need to locate your pelvic muscles and squeeze and release them a few times. To locate these muscles, try to stop and restart the flow of urine in the middle. The muscles that you can feel to be affected during this time are the muscles that you need to work on to treat your ED. Once you have located these muscles, hold them for a count of 5 and then release. Men are recommended to repeat the same 8 to 10 times while resting in between. The series of 8 to 10 contractions should be followed by quick 5 to 10 squeezes and releases. For the best results, you should repeat this exercise 4 to 5 times a day.
According to a study performed by researchers at the University of West of England in Bristol, the pelvic floor exercises can help men with ED and premature ejaculation. In addition to that, experts also believe that Kegel exercises can make orgasms stronger.
2. Aerobic Exercises
Aerobic exercises can also help you cure your ED, a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology confirms. ED is most commonly caused by diabetes, hypertension, and obesity, which decrease the flow of blood in the penis. Aerobic exercises improve your blood flow and improve your health in general.
One of the most common psychological causes of erectile dysfunction is stress. Yoga and meditation are the most effective ways to reduce stress and improve your mental health, which treats this condition.
Swimming is a form of aerobic exercise that you perform in the water. So, if you love swimming more than walking or running, go for it to treat your ED at home.
Erectile dysfunction is a curable condition. All you need to have is a positive outlook towards your life and sexual health. Porn induced erectile dysfunction can simply be treated by avoiding pornography for at least 90 days and exploring sexuality through your other senses.