Erectile dysfunction – a common problem that is little talked about (and known)

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One in three consulted in a survey carried out by the European Association of Urology gave incorrect answers.

Erectile dysfunction is a common male problem. However, a survey conducted in Europe revealed that knowledge on the subject is “alarmingly” low among men and women: more than half could not explain correctly what it is and one in four had never heard of any of the seven most common treatment alternatives.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is defined as the inability to get or maintain an erection. The survey of the European Association of Urology (EAU, for its acronym in English) evaluated the knowledge and experience with this problem among 3,032 men and women of different age groups between 20 and 70 years in Spain, France, Germany and the UK.

When asked what ED is, one in three (34%) gave wrong answers and 17% said they did not know what it was about. “Since erectile dysfunction is actually a common male medical condition, it is surprising most do not know what it is, “said Professor Christopher Chapple, UAE Secretary General.

In fact, the 2020 UAE Guidelines on Sexual and Reproductive Health state that “epidemiological data have shown a high prevalence and incidence of erectile dysfunction Worldwide“That document mentions, among others, a study that reports a general prevalence of erectile dysfunction of the 52% in men aged 40 to 70. In the UAE survey, when asked what percentage of men aged 50 to 80 in their country have this problem, the most frequently selected answer was “21-30%”.

“The risk of erectile dysfunction increases with age, but affects men of all ages and ethnicitiesChapple pointed out. “As a result, there shouldn’t be any taboos about it. While I’m glad to see that the majority of respondents who have experience with erectile dysfunction say they talk about it, there is still room for improvement. “

Of the 17% of respondents who experienced erectile dysfunction or have a partner who has ever been through it, about one in four (26%) admitted not talking about it with anyone. Among those who are in a relationship, only 29% talk about it with their partner.

“Clearly, erectile dysfunction is a common medical condition. There is no need to be ashamed“Chapple emphasized.” Talk it over with your partners. This will provide relief and take some of the pressure off. Communication is the key to breaking the taboo, “he advised.

Among those with erectile dysfunction, just over half (53%) consulted a health professional (a general practitioner, urologist, sexologist, sex therapist or psychologist). Interestingly, those in their 20s and 30s see a GP less, but are more likely to see a sex therapist or psychologist.

Regarding the people who did not consult, for Chapple “it could mean that they do not know that they can seek professional help; but erectile dysfunction can always be treated“.

In this sense, another result that caught the attention of professionals in the UAE was that one in four consulted (26%) had never heard of any of the treatments for erectile dysfunction listed in the survey: medications, sex education and couples therapy, a vacuum erection device, injections into the penis, penile implants, shock wave therapy, and topical therapies.

The survey was commissioned by the EAU on the occasion of Urology Week. In a message intended to raise awareness, Chapple concluded: “I understand that erectile dysfunction it may seem like a private matter. But this should not prevent you from improving your quality of life. Please speak up and seek help. “

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