Problem with an Erection? How to determine if it's ED.

By John Riddle

No matter how old a man is, there will come a time when they will find it difficult (or impossible) to achieve and/or maintain an erection. And while a man might feel as if it is the end of the world, it is not. Before you start having nightmares and screaming "I am too young for Viagra!," take a deep breath and remain calm.

Medical researchers estimate that between 18 and 20 million American men experience some type of erectile dysfunction. If a man has an occasional problem achieving an erection, it is really nothing to worry about. However, if they are having problems in that area more than half of the time when trying to have sexual intercourse, they should make an appointment with their doctor.

This simple checklist will help you determine if your inability to sustain (or even achieve) an erection might be related to erectile dysfunction.

  • Are you overweight? Overweight men are likely to have ED. Unfortunately, many men tend to overeat and get very little exercise, and they never think about how being overweight can affect their ability to perform in the bedroom. But it does. If you are carrying too many pounds, it is time to get serious about losing weight; check with your doctor and begin the journey back to a healthy life.
  • Are you a smoker? Often times, men who smoke will experience problems getting and maintaining an erection. Smoking can damage blood vessels, and restrict blood flow to the penis.

  • Do you consume an excessive amount of alcohol? While you might think that drinking a lot of alcohol makes you sexy, it can actually keep you from having an erection. If you want to enjoy an evening of sexual intercourse with your partner, try and limit your alcohol consumption to only one or two drinks.

  • Do you have any of the following medical conditions? Diabetes; high cholesterol; depression; or kidney disease

  • Are you a couch potato? Or can you honestly say that you exercise for thirty minutes a day at least 5 days a week? Regular exercise can greatly reduce the risk of ED; but be sure to consult with your doctor before beginning any type of exercise program.

  • Are you stressed? And if you are experiencing any type of stress, do you know how to manage it before it affects you?

  • Are you taking any prescription drugs? Some drugs will interfere with you ability to have an erection. Check with your doctor and ask about possible side effects for any medications you are taking, especially any drugs for high blood pressure.

If you do experience a problem with an erection, there is no need to become upset or mad. Sometimes just getting a good night's sleep will take care of the problem. Stress, anxiety and the "busyness of life" can sometimes cause a temporary erection difficulty. However, if the problem persists, you should explain the problem to a medical professional.