Over half of all American men experience erectile dysfunction (ED) during their lifetime. But many men don’t realize this common disorder is closely linked to mental health disorders, like depression or anxiety.
If you leave either condition untreated, it can make managing the other more difficult.
At Urology Associates Medical Group in Burbank, California, urologist Philip Weintraub, MD, and our team of ED specialists can diagnose and treat erectile dysfunction. We also want our patients to understand this complicated disorder, which may have roots in or affect your mental well-being.
Take a moment to learn more about the link between depression and erectile dysfunction and how we can help you reclaim your sex life.
The connection between mental health and ED
There’s a clear link between depression and erectile dysfunction. Sometimes depression may cause ED, while other times issues in the bedroom can lead to mental health issues. Most of the time, though, these factors are interrelated.
To better understand the complicated relationship between your sex life and mental health, consider that sexual urges start in your brain, and successful sexual intercourse relies on a combination of physical and psychological factors.
Physiological issues, like low testosterone, illness, and aging, can affect your body’s ability to supply blood to your penis, which may lead to ED. And if your brain chemicals aren’t balanced or sufficient to stimulate enough blood flow for you to get or maintain an erection, you can experience ED.
Depression and other mental health disorders, like anxiety, can trigger imbalanced brain chemicals. And not being able to perform the way you want in the bedroom can lead to feelings of frustration, anxiety, or depression, making ED worse.
In fact, men with clinical depression are about twice as likely to develop ED. And one recent study found over 80% of men diagnosed with ED without previous experience of depression reported symptoms of this mental health disorder.
This cycle of depression and ED can frustrate men and their partners. Unfortunately, some medications for depression can affect sexual function, making ED worse. The good news is that a drug-free treatment can help.
Drug-free erectile dysfunction treatment
At Urology Associates Medical Group, we use noninvasive, drug-free GAINSWave® to safely and effectively manage ED. This treatment works to increase blood flow to your penis using painless acoustical shock waves.
While other treatments increase blood flow for a short period, GAINSWave blasts away plaque that lines the blood vessels that bring blood to the penis.
By treating one of the underlying contributors to ED, GAINSWave helps you maintain increased blood flow for the long term, boosting your confidence in the bedroom.
GAINSWave uses extracorporeal (occurring outside your body) acoustical shock waves to break up the plaque and stimulate the development of new blood vessels around the base of your penis. This revascularization process helps you have normal erections again so you can reclaim your sex life.
Each GAINSWave session takes less than a half hour, and there aren’t any side effects or downtime required. This means you can get your treatment and get back to your normal activities — including sex — right away.
Although the exact number of treatments needed varies based on your unique symptoms and health history, most men benefit from 6-12 treatments over several months. Results last 2-3 years, and you can schedule additional sessions to maintain your results indefinitely.
To discover more about the link between ED and depression or to find out if GAINSWave is for you, schedule an appointment today at Urology Associates Medical Group in Burbank, California.