Men's Health Month: Keeping a healthy male mojo

More than 30 million men suffer from avoid erectile dysfunction, or ED. Many estimate the number to be much higher.

LEESBURG, Va. (WUSA) -- A recent study shows men who drink one or two mugs of coffee a day are less likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction. The coffee relaxes arteries and increases blood flow.

Sex is a natural part of a healthy lifestyle, however more than 30 million men suffer from avoid erectile dysfunction, or ED. Many estimate the number to be much higher.

It can be an issue that many men shy away from.

Dr. Christopher Starks, Director of Male Fertility and Men's Sexual Health of The Urology Group at Inova Loudoun Hospital says, "it's certainly a little bit of a taboo topic. I would say in our culture, more recently people are a little bit freer to talk about these issues."

Dr. Starks says after drugs like Viagra and Cialis hit the market. Men started to open up more about ED problems. Especially thinking that a little pill could quickly solve it, with little side effects. But simply relying on medication may not be the best solution.

"I certainly wouldn't encourage my patients to have that sort of an attitude or approach. What I would say is if you continue to eat that double bacon burger or go back for those extra slices of pizza and sit and watch the TV and not do any sort of physical activity. Slowly over time things will get worse," adds Dr. Starks.

To reduce the chances for ED, maintaining cardiovascular health is important. The most commonly talked about lifestyle changes can actually improve sexual health for men well into their later years. They include changing your diet, limiting your alcohol intake, and certainly discontinuing your smoking.

Lifestyle is usually the culprit for men over 40. Younger men with ED problems tend to have a different cause.

Dr. Starks says, "It's typically due to more of the emotional and psychological issues."

Counseling may be the best first treatment approach.

Speaking of anxiety causing ED in younger men, a survey of war vets 40 and under show those with post-traumatic stress were 30 times more likely to report ED.


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