EXPLORING LINK BETWEEN ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION & URINARY TRACT INFECTION.ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION,inability to maintain stable erection for sexual intercourse, is known to have high prevalence worldwide. It was estimated that there were over 152 million men suffering from erectile dysfunction worldwide. It is also predicted that there will be an increase of nearly 170 million men with erectile dysfunction till 2025, thus, the prevalence rate will hike to approximately 322 million men. According to Aytac IA et al., this prevalence rate has been observed to be high in Africa, Asia and South America.
As we look at URINARY TRACT INFECTION (UTI), then, it is one of its outcomes of erectile dysfunction. UTI is an infection that occurs within the urinary tract system, which consists of the urethra, bladder, ureter, and kidneys, as well as the prostate and testicles. It has been observed by Schaeffer A J et al. that the urinary tract infection is uncommon in men younger than 60 years of age (0.9 – 2.4% per 1000 men). The men older than 60 years of age have seen to be more prone to UTIs (7.7% per 1000 men).
Erectile dysfunction and urinary tract infection are correlated conditions. It is recommended that patients seeking consultation for one condition should always be screened for the other condition. Both erectile dysfunction and UTI affect sexual function and hence quality of life of men. In a large epidemiological study, 28.8% of men were reported to have a fall in sexual enjoyment and 24.8% had decreased or stopped sexual activity due to the disorders of prostate or bladder.
UTI is a strong enhancer of erectile dysfunction. Any patient with confirmed erectile dysfunction is always tested for urinary infection. Mild to moderate or moderate to severe UTIs, have a greater impact on erectile dysfunction.
Infection of the prostate (prostatitis) can also lead to erectile problems. Prostatitis can be caused by a sexually transmitted disease or from the bacteria common in the feces (E. coli, etc.). Younger patients are more likely to get a sexually transmitted disease than a very old patient. Patients may get the infection from incomplete bladder emptying and the residual urine serves to propagate the bacteria. This condition can cause
- Severe burning with urination
- Painful ejaculation
- Blood in the urine
- Need to strain or push to get the urine out
None of these symptoms make sexual relationship a very attractive activity, which can ultimately lead to erectile dysfunction.
HOW CAN IT BE PREVENTED OR TREATED?
It is truly said, “Prevention is better than cure”. Prevention of urinary tract infection is more important than its development and treatment. Following are some of the tips, which can be acquired to prevent urinary tract infection in men:
- Drink a lot of fluids especially water. This can help flush the bacteria out of the urinary tract, and in mild infections can even help treat it completely.
- Urinate as more as possible. Don’t hold your urine when you feel the urge to go.
- Empty your bladder as much as possible when urinating.
- Cleaning of the area is important, so that bacteria doesn’t get trapped and enter the urinary tract.
Other treatment strategies for UTI and erectile dysfunction include:
- Simple lifestyle changes, such as termination of smoking, weight loss and even modest but regular exercise, very often improve and can often resolve erectile dysfunction symptoms. Improvement in these domains serves to improve blood flow, tissue health and nerve function of penile tissues.
- Diabetes also can be a risk factor for erectile dysfunction. Uncontrolled diabetes leads to poor long-term blood sugar control, and when blood sugar remains uncontrolled, this can cause nerve and blood vessel damage, negatively affecting the blood supply to the penis. Thus, blood glucose levels should be regularly monitored and managed accordingly.
- D-mannose is a naturally occurring sugar found in apple, blueberries and cranberries and is the most effective treatment for urinary tract infection. D-mannose sugar is effective because it attaches itself to the infection-causing bacteria and prevents them from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract, eliminating them while urinating.
- One supplement popular among individuals with erectile dysfunction is Korean red ginseng, also called Panax. It’s thought that the ginsenoids found in ginseng are the active ingredient that improves sexual function. They are believed to have multiple potential health benefits, such as being antihypertensive, antidiabetic, antiatherosclerotic, and anti-inflammatory, as well as having positive effects on the central nervous system.
- The body uses L-arginine to make nitric oxide, a gas that increases blood flow. Nitric oxide triggers the smooth muscle of the penis to relax, which then allows blood to flow into the penis, causing an erection.
- Other natural supplements for the treatment of erectile dysfunction and raise overall energy and vitality in men include:
- Yohimbine: It is believed to activate the penile nerves to release more NO, widen the blood vessels to increase blood flow in the penis, stimulate the pelvic nerve and boost adrenaline supply, increase sexual desire and prolong erections.
- Fenugreek: Fenugreek has been known to boost testosterone levels to cure erectile dysfunction. Fenugreek-based supplement –CHEMFORCE is a natural dietary supplement for overall energy and vitality in men. Fenugreek extract, the major ingredient in Chemforce, has been known to boost testosterone levels to cure erectile dysfunction. It is a clinically proven and patented herbal supplement which helps to maintain overall health of men including healthy sexual function, healthy muscle development, maintenance of overall energy, etc.
- Ginkgo: Ginkgo biloba may increase blood flow to the penis, thus, causing improvement in erectile dysfunction.
- Mondia whitei: It is believed to increase libido and manage low sperm count in men. Studies suggest that this natural supplement increases human sperm motility, testosterone levels and NO production, thus, increases sexual desire.