You might not have erectile dysfunction right now, but that doesn’t mean you won’t develop it in the future. Here are some indications that erectile dysfunction might be on the horizon.
- You’ve got high blood pressure or cholesterol.
Although one high blood pressure reading during the Super Bowl isn’t necessarily a sign of anything but stress and anxiety, two or more elevated readings is probably an indication that you’re damaging your blood vessels. When the damage starts to impair their elasticity, it’s harder for blood to get into your penis, which can cause erectile dysfunction. The same is true for high cholesterol, which can lead to narrowing of the blood vessels, known as “atherosclerosis.”
- Your gums are in bad shape.
Poor dental hygiene isn’t just bad in terms of attracting a mate, it can actually lead inflammation, which can damage your blood vessels and cause erectile dysfunction.
- You’re not waking up with a hard-on.
Waking up with an erection isn’t about having a dream that got you worked up. When you sleep, your brain releases less noradrenaline, a hormone that keeps you from staying hard 24/7. If you notice you’re not waking with morning wood as often as you used to, it could be due to a problem with your blood flow to the penis.
- You think about sex less.
No one expects you to be as consumed with sex as you were at, say, age 19. But if you’ve noticed that you don’t think about sex as much as you did last year, it could be due to low testosterone levels. When your sex drive is low, it may lead to erectile dysfunction. Look for other signs of low testosterone to see if you can narrow down the problem: mood changes, fatigue, extra fat around your stomach or trouble building muscle even when you’re working out frequently.
The good news is, erectile dysfunction is usually treatable for most men. Talk to you doctor about getting a prescription for an erectile dysfunction drug like Viagra or Cialis, and while you’re there, have a full workup to check your testosterone, cholesterol and blood pressure.