Can’t Get It Up? It Might Be Time to Speak to Your GP

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Research has revealed a gap in public knowledge relating to erectile dysfunction (ED) and a neglect by men to seek a chinwag with their GP for the treatment of this urological condition.

Insights from a survey of 1,000 blokes, conducted by The Urology Foundation found that just under 40% (37.91%) of men didn’t know what erectile dysfunction could signify.

Furthermore, over a third of males wouldn’t seek advice, or didn’t know what they’d do if they knew ED could be a sign of a medical condition.

The stigma associated with the common condition has meant that guys feel uncomfortable discussing the issue. Indeed, over half (53%), refrain from seeking necessary medical treatment as a result of their anxiety. And 20% of chaps prefer to miss a month of drinking beer rather than going to see a healthcare professional.

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“There is still so much stigma and avoidance around erectile dysfunction”, says Rebecca Porta of The Urology Foundation. “We need to address this urgently and help men feel more comfortable talking about the condition and taking it more seriously.”

ED prevalence is over 50% in those over 50 years old and increases with a person’s age. Alarmingly, almost 20% of those surveyed beyond the age of 55 answered that they would ‘do nothing’ if they had erectile dysfunction, the highest of any age group surveyed. 

Avoiding necessary treatment can be dangerous, as the condition can be an indicator of more threatening diseases like coronary heart disease, stroke or diabetes. The Urology Foundation is calling for more research funding into erectile dysfunction and its treatment, and for better education around its health implications.

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