Erectile Dysfunction vs. Sterility: What’s the Difference?
Erectile dysfunction and sterility are sometimes confused with each other, but they are two different sexual health disorders. Erectile dysfunction, or impotence, is when a man struggles to get or keep an erection. Sterility refers to the inability to produce and/or release sperm. They can occur separately or together but are two very distinct conditions.
A lot of men may not like to admit it, but erectile dysfunction (ED) is common, especially after the age of 40. It can be one-off or situational, or it can be a more chronic condition that greatly affects a man’s sex life.
Erections involve several organs and systems throughout the body beyond the penis. If these do not all correctly work together, a man may struggle to achieve and/or sustain an erection.
Causes of Erectile Dysfunction include:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- High Cholesterol
- Stress, depression, and anxiety
- Nerve Damage
- Drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes
- Certain medications
Most men do not find out they are sterile until they have tried to conceive with their partner for a while without any success. The causes of a man’s infertility could be due to a number of different reasons and it may not even be clear why it is happening.
Some Causes of Sterility:
- Cancer treatments like chemo
- Exposure to certain chemicals like pesticides
- Steroid use
- Cystic fibrosis
- Undescended testicles
- Injury to the reproductive organs
- Retrograde ejaculation
- STI’s like chlamydia
Treatment for Impotence
By enacting some simple lifestyle changes, you might see a positive change in your sexual performance. Cut back on cigarettes, alcohol, and fatty foods. Exercise regularly to improve heart health, your circulation, and to keep yourself from becoming obese and developing obesity-related illnesses. If you have mental health concerns, speak to a professional to see about psychological treatment options.
You can also take ED medications like Viagra and Sildenafil.
Treatment for Sterility
If you have been trying to conceive for over a year and haven’t had any success, speak to your GP. If tests reveal sterility, depending on the cause you may have options to treat it. This might be in the form of hormone replacement therapy, surgery, or in vitro fertilization (IVF).
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