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The reason why erectile dysfunction (ED) is on the increase

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By Bunmi Sofola

With all the talks centering around sex and the various gadgets; and helps offered towards making the average man Mr. Macho and his partner a purring pussy cat in his hands, it’s little wonder that a lot of men are running scared of the bedroom.

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Especially if madam is waiting on the bed, a very expectant look on her face. These days, it is not the women feigning a headache to stave off amorous advances – sadly, it is their partners reaching for the painkillers with a not-tonight-darling groan.

When a young man goes off sex, a woman tends to assume the worst, says a sex expert. He might blame the beer for the fact that things aren’t working too well. Or try to avoid the issue by staying up to watch late night television. Meanwhile, his partner thinks: “He doesn’t fancy me any more – he’s got someone else.” But a man who has stopped making moves in your direction may not be a cheating love rat. He could simply be suffering from the kind of problem that normally affects men of pensionable age.

Experts now report that ED – Erectile Dysfunction – is increasing among young men – And it’s largely because of their lifestyle. They smoke too much. They drink too much. They take too many drugs. And then they can’t perform as well as they’d like in bed. Until recently ED – which can be an underlying symptom of heart disease was considered an older man’s problem. Indeed, over 50 per cent of men over 70 suffer from it. But that profile is changing.

Dr. Goeffiey Hackett is a member of the British Society for Sexual Medicine. Every week, he says, he sees two new patients who are aged under 30, yet are suffering from ED. According to him. Young men’s magazines tell them how good they have to be in bed, how long they should last and so on. No one is happy to be an average any more. Because of this pressure, younger men are worried and sick about being useless in the sack. Yet they are inducing their ED with their lifestyle, whether it is alcohol, smoking or taking cannabis.

“As a result, the consequences for relationships can be serious. When a younger man starts to fail to get an erection, he begins to withdraw from sexual activity altogether, because no one enjoys doing something they are not good at. Where the ED sufferer is a 60-year-old diabetic, his wife is unlikely to leave him. But if a younger man starts failing to have an erection, then the first thing his partner thinks is that he has got someone else, and she may well leave.”

“The said thing here is that there is also an influx of young men in their early 20s who are suffering from performance anxiety. If they are not able to have sex three times a night, they think they aren’t normal. If they have problems, they are often too embarrassed to discuss them and daren’t let on to their mates. This increases the problem tenfold. Young male clients tell me that they are looking for a relationship when they go out on a date but find that some young women are insisting on having sex straightway.”

Sadly, women can be very dismissive if the man is unable to perform and this justifies his worst fears. If a young man has erectile problems, he is more likely to resolve them if he has a girlfriend who is committed to him rather than flirting from one woman to the other. I tell them to slow down and enjoy the journey rather than attempting to arrive at the destination too soon.

Official figures of men under 30 who suffer from ED do not take account of those too embarrassed to see their doctors. Instead, they resort to buying drugs like Viagra or Claus which are widely available at reputable chemists here in Nigeria.

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Those who couldn’t afford the very high prices of these drugs resorted to downing dangerous concoctions from herbalists that guarantee instant boost to their libido. Apart from the risk of being sold counterfeit tablets, it also means that underlying cause of their problem –  such as low testosterone levels, or Type 2 diabetes – may remain undiagnosed.


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