Are Erectile Dysfunction and Fibromyalgia Related?

erectile dysfunction

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Fibromyalgia seems to affect women much more often than men. In fact, about 90% of people with fibromyalgia are women. And understandably, a lot of the information out there on the condition is directed at women. That can leave men with fibromyalgia feeling a bit forgotten. Not to mention, it leaves them struggling to find good information that applies to the unique issues that affect them.

And one of the things that men with fibromyalgia struggle with is erectile dysfunction (ED). ED affects all kinds of men, and it can leave them with the sense that they’re living a half life. After all, it makes it hard to maintain the intimate relationships that men cherish, even if we don’t always vocalize how important they are to us. And when you have fibromyalgia, it can make things even worse. So what are some of the basic causes of erectile dysfunction? Can it be a side effect of fibromyalgia? And what can you do to manage it?

What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?

Essentially, erectile dysfunction is an inability to maintain proper blood flow necessary to sustain an erection. Men with ED might have trouble getting an erection in the first place or maintaining an erection once they have one.

There are two base causes of the condition: medical and psychological.

Medical causes of erectile dysfunction are things that physically restrict the flow of blood to the penis. Typically, this is due to the narrowing of the blood vessels that lead to the penis, a condition called arteriosclerosis. Arteriosclerosis can be caused by a range of things from diabetes to smoking.

And conditions that affect the nerves like peripheral neuropathy can lead to a breakdown of the nerve stimuli sets that trigger the flow of blood to the penis.

But ED can also result from psychological problems like depression or excessive stress. And strain in a relationship can even make it hard to maintain an erection.

How are ED and Fibromyalgia Related?

It’s hard to say that ED is a side effect of fibromyalgia, due to the fact that men with fibromyalgia don’t seem to suffer from it at a significantly higher rate than the general population. We do know, however, that fibromyalgia seems to be correlated with peripheral neuropathy in a significant number of people. And the nerve damage that causes peripheral neuropathy could conceivably play a role in erectile dysfunction.

And the medications most commonly prescribed for fibromyalgia include antidepressants, which are known to trigger the condition in many people who take them.

With that being said, there are a number of psychological reasons that fibromyalgia could lead to an inability to maintain an erection which are probably just as significant.

While the physical causes are less of an issue with fibromyalgia and ED, the psychological stresses that can lead to the condition are very much a factor for someone with fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia, due to the chronic pain and fatigue, often leads to depression. And depression is a significant source of erectile dysfunction. In addition, men with fibromyalgia are often unable to work and the chronic fatigue leads people to become withdrawn. As a result, the relationships that men depend on can become strained, which leads to the sorts of interpersonal issues that cause ED.

How can you Manage it?

The best way to handle relationship issues caused by fibromyalgia is with professional counseling. And counseling can also help with the psychological issues behind the disorder. But the most important thing to remember about erectile dysfunction is that it is nothing to be ashamed of.

A lot of guys who suffer from ED can be embarrassed about it, which often keeps them from seeking the help they need. But talking to your doctor about the condition is always the first step in getting effective treatment.

After all, your doctor can prescribe medication that can treat the condition. There are a number of different drugs like Cialis and Viagra that work by stimulating the flow of blood into the penis. These drugs are typically quite effective, but they do carry a small risk of side effects like heart attacks or strokes.

It’s important to discuss the medications with your doctor so that they can adequately assess your risks. And ED can sometimes be a sign of more serious conditions like prostate cancer. So your doctor may want to perform an examination to make sure that you aren’t suffering from any other medical issues.

So tell us, does your ED seem to be related to fibromyalgia? How do you deal with it? Let us know in the comments.

 

 

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