Sexuality: erection problem, let’s dare to talk about it!
Impotence is taboo. So much so that today we prefer to hide it behind the euphemistic expression of “erectile dysfunction”. Yet it has always been the same story for millennia, that of the male sexual quack, and its devastating symbolic load for the individual who undergoes it.
“It goes beyond the organ and the sexual setting. The notion of power is so associated with the cultural construction of masculinity that this impossibility is experienced as an extremely painful identity crisis “, underlines the psychiatrist and sexologist Philippe Brenot, co-author with Laetitia Coryn of an” Incredible history of sex ” , in comic strip in two volumes, published by les Arènes.
There is however something to play down. First, because these lasting or one-off difficulties are widespread. “This concerns 31.6% of men in France, and 66.7% of them over 70,” insists Philippe Brenot. The notion of unmentionable individual defect should therefore be put into perspective.
Talk about it and find out
In addition, medical progress in this area has made giant leaps since the 1990s. “Today there is no reason to be helpless, unless we do not take care of it”, insists the surgeon and andrologist Ronald Virag. ” After 60 years, there is no longer any question of giving up sex on the pretext that you are too old », He sweeps.
So what to do in the event of a frustrating breakdown? Now is the time to get out of the myth of male infallibility, and sterile competition between boys. Because exchanging advice, experiences and good ideas between friends can be the beginning of a solution.
Then, face the problem by educating yourself, because resources exist, on the Internet or in books. In his book “My sex and me, a manual for understanding and repairing your penis”, co-written with journalist Rica Etienne, urologist andrologist Marc Galiano addresses both small daily worries and complex technical issues.
Go see a specialist
“Men should be able to turn to an andrologist, as women would to a gynecologist. Because unlike them, they do not know how to take charge of their health, their personal hygiene, and do anything, ”he said. So when the discomfort sets in over time, head for the consultation. Urologist, sex therapist, andrologist… the main thing is to find a specialist to listen.
What if it’s in my head? “We must not dissociate the mind from the body, because physical and psychological disorders maintain each other,” says Marc Galiano. And certainly, the physiological causes often arise with age, correlated with diabetes, hypertension, overweight, or vascular disorders, when the origins of the blockage are rather psychological for the youngest. But this is not systematic. And it would be silly to chain appointments with shrinks, when we sometimes have a real problem with the piping.
Beta blockers against performance stress
“A clinical examination which proves that everything is working well is never useless because it restores confidence, an essential element”, also points out Ronald Virag. According to the andrologist surgeon, caverno-venous leaks that prevent the penis from filling properly with blood concern 5% of young patients. They would be underdiagnosed, while restorative surgeries could be performed.
As for psychological factors such as depression or anxiety, they also have physical consequences that can be treated. The stress of performance, for example, causes adrenaline surges which chemically lead to the loss of an erection. Faced with this, we can prescribe beta blockers, which will stop the rise of paralyzing hormone. A remedy also used by actors who are afraid of forgetting their text when going on stage because of stage fright.
Viagra, prick, gel, and penis pump
In general, taking drugs such as IPDE5 (such as Viagra) can also help overcome a psychological barrier. But there is no question of being satisfied with their prescription, which has become automatic among many general practitioners. Because if they are a first avenue to be favored in the event of erectile dysfunction, they do not always work. To counter the most refractory physical problems, such as those related to age, smoking, hypertension, or neurological, cerebral or motor dysfunctions, other tools exist.
Prostaglandin, in the form of a prick, or a gel to be introduced into the urethra, is rather effective. A vacuum type penis pump can also be used to induce erection. But its use, considered a little intimidating by most men, remains quite limited. And if nothing works, the good news is that there is still a solution, more than 90% effective: the penile implant.