Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Day: Here’s Why Erectile Dysfunction Doesn’t Mean Infertility


There is a common myth among people who erectile dysfunction (DE) stands for infertility. However, ED does not mean infertility but it can cause infertility. It is a symptom and not a disease. Thus, addressing the root cause of the condition can help deal with the infertility that is causing it. There are many causes of infertility and erectile dysfunction is just one of the contributing factors.

“Men usually don’t talk about it because they have low self-esteem. Remember that you should not hesitate to consult a doctor if you suffer from erectile dysfunction and you should seek prompt medical attention when advised,” said Dr. Pavan Devendra Bendale, Fertility Consultant, Nova IVF Pune .

On this Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Day, celebrated annually on February 12, here’s everything you need to know about the relationship between erectile dysfunction and infertility.

What is ED?

Erectile dysfunction, a common occurrence among the majority of men, means that a man will be unable to get and maintain an erection for a long time in order to
having sex. It can also cause low libido. “Erectile dysfunction and infertility symptoms are considered the same, but that’s not true at all. If a man has erectile dysfunction, that doesn’t mean he can’t be a father,” said Dr. Bendale.

Erectile dysfunction is a common phenomenon among the majority of men. (Source: Pexels)

Of the many causes of the condition, few are high blood sugar, cholesterol and high blood pressure. Other causes can be attributed to heart disease, obesity, Parkinson’s diseaseexcessive consumption of alcohol, drugs and smoking, sleep disorders, cancer treatments and genital injuries. In addition, psychological factors such as depression and stress may also be the underlying factors.

Decoding the link between ED and fertility

ED will have no direct implications on fertility. But, having it can make it difficult for a couple to conceive and embrace parenthood. “ED can lead to
stress, anxiety, depression, communication problems, guilt, shame, embarrassment, low self-esteem in a man and he will avoid having sex. Erectile dysfunction is one of the causes of male infertility because there is inefficient ejaculation, which is necessary for the sperm to enter the vaginal canal and reach the woman’s egg
while infertility itself increases the risk of anxiety and depression which in turn cause erectile dysfunction,” Dr. Bendale said.

How to fight erectile dysfunction?

Some things that will help with erectile dysfunction are having a healthy lifestyle, manage your diabetes, cholesterol and high blood pressure with expert help. Eat a well-balanced diet plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and exercise daily. Avoid alcohol, smoking, and drugs, as these things can negatively impact sperm. You should de-stress by doing yoga, meditation, or whatever activity you enjoy, Dr. Bendale said.

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