Drug Use, Alcohol, Tobacco Among Factors Related to Sexual Dysfunction

Results of a study are shedding new light on the reasons some men suffer sexual dysfunction. Poor diet and an unhealthy lifestyle may have a more significant impact on men’s sexual function than previously thought.

With study results published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, a recent Digital Journal article addresses the possible causes for why 50 percent of men in the U.K. in the 40- to 70-year age bracket have episodes of erectile dysfunction. Some are believed to have the problem occasionally; others for long periods of time. Erectile dysfunction can refer to being unable to reach a state of erection or to keep an erection during sexual activity.

Being overweight, using tobacco and drinking alcohol excessively are factors that study researcher Morten Frisch suggested can lead to erectile dysfunction. Drug use is also among the factors. Cocaine carried an especially high risk of erectile dysfunction, with researchers suggesting use of the drug may give men an 800 percent higher than normal chance of developing the condition.

Results also indicated that men who are in committed relationships and make poor health choices had an increased risk of 78 percent of experiencing erectile dysfunction. For men who were married and overweight, the risk was 71 percent.

Researchers hope the study will encourage men who are experiencing sexual dysfunction to address the problem from an overall lifestyle perspective, rather than avoiding treatment. The article also addressed a stereotypical belief that men must remain virile to be considered strong, an attitude which may prevent some from getting help for erectile dysfunction or other sexual problems.

One serious consequence of this belief is that men are seeking erectile dysfunction medications illegally or from illegitimate sources, such as overseas. In these cases, the ingredients and potency are unknown and could lead to dangerous health effects.