Sexual problems are a difficult subject to deal with, and with men the most common form of that problem is erectile dysfunction (ED). Affecting 30 million people in America, this condition has many causes, but one lesser known cause is Parkinson’s disease. But how does a slowly degenerative nervous system disorder affect your ability to get an erection? And what can be done about it? Let’s find some answers to these questions.
Patients in the Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach and Greater South Florida areas dealing with ED can get help with Drs. Craig Herman, Steven Kester, and the experienced team at Urology Center of Florida. Our cutting edge facilities and state of the art technology combined with our decades of experience give you the best options for treatment of ED and many other urological conditions.
Causes of ED
There are many physical causes of ED, such as lack of blood flow to the penis, the penis being unable to trap blood during an erection, nerve signals not reaching your groin, diabetes related nerve damage and various medications. You may be at a higher risk of these and other causes if you’re:
- Over 50
- Dealing with diabetes
- Dealing with hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Suffering from cardiovascular disease
Emotional issues can lead to ED as well, such as depression, anxiety, stress, and relationship problems.
How Parkinson’s and ED are linked
Parkinson’s disease is a condition that gradually impairs the nervous system, which can directly affect movement. It can reduce your ability to show expressions, cause tremors, affect speech, and cause stiffness and slow movement. It also affects your autonomic nervous system, and that affects your sexual function and response.
The disease causes dopamine producing cells to die, by damaging the neurons in your brain’s substantia nigra, which is vital in modulating motor movement and reward functions. Without proper dopamine function in the body, you have trouble transmitting signals to coordinate smooth muscle movement, which is critical to sexual function. All of this results in impaired sexual coordination, ED, and lack of climax.
Methods of treatment
Both Parkinson’s and ED can have severe effects on personal lives, especially regarding relationships. Treatment can be managed in many different ways. If you are struggling with both Parkinson’s and ED, you can benefit from common approaches to ED such as medication, while also addressing the unique challenges of Parkinson’s.
Communication is a vital part of any relationship. If you’re part of a couple dealing with Parkinson’s, you can improve understanding and ease tensions through open communication. This includes discussing symptoms and how the condition is affecting both partners, including in counseling. This can reduce anxiety around intimacy, and because emotional factors often contribute to ED, tackling relationship issus head-on can directly improve ED symptoms.
Working around physical limitations
Timing any sexual encounters around when you’re feeling your best (symptoms are usually less severe in the early part of the day) and working around fatigue with exercises can make things easier. Over time, it becomes more instinctive to work around the limitations of Parkinson’s, so you can still enjoy spontaneity in your sex life.
ED medications like Viagra can help restore erectile function. By helping improve the physical obstacles interfering with sex, many couples report an increase in desire and sexual satisfaction.
Both conditions can be devastating to a relationship, but with our help you can manage the problems and get on with your life. If you’re dealing with ED for whatever reason, make an appointment with Drs. Herman, Kester, and Urology Center of Florida today to get treated.