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Erectile Dysfunction and Your Pelvic Floor
Erectile dysfunction (ED), the inability to maintain an erection, is a problem that affects millions of men. Though it’s often thought of as a problem that only affects older men, ED can occur at any age.
There are many potential causes of ED, and often, more than one contributing factor. These can include physical conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, psychological conditions such as anxiety or depression, and even lifestyle choices such as smoking or excessive alcohol consumption.
One cause of ED that is often overlooked is the health of your pelvic floor muscles. The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that support the pelvis and help control bowel and bladder function. Weakness or tightness in these muscles can lead to a number of problems, including ED.
How Can Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Cause ED?
There are a few ways that pelvic floor dysfunction can contribute to ED. One is through muscle tightness. When the pelvic floor muscles are too tight, they can put pressure on the penile nerves and blood vessels, which can lead to decreased blood flow and nerve damage. This can make it difficult to get or maintain an erection.
Another way pelvic floor dysfunction can cause ED is through muscle weakness. When the pelvic floor muscles are weak, they can’t provide the support they need to the pelvis and other organs. This can lead to prolapse, or the dropping down, of the bladder or rectum into the pelvis. prolapse can put pressure on the penile nerves and blood vessels, which can lead to ED.
How Can I Treat My ED?
If you think your ED may be related to your pelvic floor, there are treatment options available. One is pelvic floor physical therapy. A pelvic floor physical therapist can help to assess your pelvic floor muscles and determine if they are the cause of your ED. If they are, the therapist can work with you to stretching and strengthening exercises to improve the function of your pelvic floor muscles.
Another treatment option is biofeedback. Biofeedback is a technique that uses sensors to measure the tension in your pelvic floor muscles. The sensors send the information to a computer, which displays the tension on a screen. This feedback can help you to learn to relax your pelvic floor muscles and improve their function.
If you think your ED may be related to your pelvic floor, talk to your doctor. They can help to determine the cause of your ED and recommend treatment options.