If you or your partner is dealing with erectile dysfunction, you may have a lot of questions. How is this going to affect my sex life with my partner? Could this be an indication of a more serious health condition? Will my ED last forever? Could this affect or limit my ability to have children?
While these are all questions that you may have that come with ED, one of the most popular and common questions is what effect does ED have on male fertility?
It may seem like a straightforward answer because without being able to have penetrative sex, how would you be able to impregnate your partner? But, the answer is actually a little more complicated than that.
ED can affect male fertility but not just in the way you may suspect.
Impotence is Not Infertility
A common misconception when it comes to discussing fertility is that impotence is the same thing as infertility. Impotence is the inability of a man to achieve an erection or orgasm, commonly referred to as erectile dysfunction. On the other hand, infertility is the inability to conceive children.
Impotence can be caused by a number of different causes, both physical and psychological, while infertility is caused by strictly physical issues such as low sperm count, abnormalities in the sperm, or blockages in the sperm delivery system. So while impotence doesn’t directly cause fertility problems, they can both be triggered by the same causes and are often grouped together.
Both ED and male infertility can be caused by obesity, drug use, alcohol use, and tobacco smoking. More than environmental factors, health conditions such as diabetes, cancer treatments, or the use of pharmaceutical drugs such as steroids can all cause both erectile dysfunction and infertility.
Treat ED First
While impotence can make the physical act of conceiving a child difficult or impossible, scientific advancements in reproduction have made great leaps and bounds in the world of infertility. Without ejaculation, getting your partner pregnant is near impossible, so often if you’re trying to conceive with your partner, but fear you may be suffering from both of these conditions, a doctor may suggest that you treat your erectile dysfunction first, so you can increase your odds at impregnating your partner.
Often, when dealing with ED, it’s a source of embarrassment or shame for men due to societal stigma, but it’s much more common and treatable than you may think. The first step in seeking treatment for impotence is consulting with a medical professional. The medical professional will work with you to rule out potential sources of your ED and if these causes could also be affecting your fertility.
Once you’ve been able to treat your impotence and are able to achieve or maintain erections to completion, then your chances of conceiving are greatly increased. After treating impotence, if you’re still struggling with conceiving, your doctor may run tests to see if you have a low sperm count or
Just ED or Something More?
When you consult with a doctor, they’ll likely run through a comprehensive wellness exam to get an overview of your total health. Your reproductive, sexual, and total body health are all tied together because each of these systems relies on other parts of your body in order to function normally and effectively.
In these tests, your doctor may suggest decreasing potential environmental risk factors, such as drinking, smoking, or drug use. They may ask you to start exercising regularly or eat healthier. Often, ED can be an indication of another health condition, like heart disease, diabetes, or clogged blood vessels.
Your doctor will likely rule out that more serious health issues aren’t causing impotence as well before they prescribe medication to increase blood flow or suggest tension rings or penis pumps.
Erectile dysfunction, or impotence, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re infertile, but if you’re trying to conceive, chances are you’ll need to seek treatment for your ED before you’re able to get a partner pregnant.
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