Health | Wellbeing

Men experiencing erectile dysfunction need psychological help

The Vice President of the Ghana Psychological Association, Reverend Albright Benibensu, has asked men experiencing Erectile Dysfunction (ED) to seek psychological help.

He told the Ghana News Agency that although some ED conditions were medical, majority of the cases were psychological and advised men with the condition not to shy away from psychologists to avoid abusing drugs.

Erectile Dysfunction according to John Hopkins Medicine is a persistent inability to achieve or maintain penile erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance.

Controllable risk factors are overweight, lack of exercise, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and smoking.

Rev. Benibensu said in Ghana, erectile dysfunction was highly triggered by increased stress, and misinformation on sexuality causing performance anxiety.

“Economic pressures, workload, long travel distance to work, housing problems and noise pollution, all expose men to ED. There is so much noise in the environment, which makes it difficult for men to focus or concentrate during sex,” he said.

Rev. Benibensu said among most Ghanaian couples, ED was the third cause of marital problems, leading to divorces in some cases.

He said misinformation on sex and advertorials on aphrodisiacs in the media were a major concern and urged men to be cirscumspect on their sexuality.

Dr Kelvin Owusu, a Wellness Consultant Doctor at Violet’s Medical Center, a Private Health facility in Accra, said the uncontrolled and continued use of alcoholic and non-alcoholic aphrodisiacs in the form of bitters, dried herbs and pills may worsen erectile dysfunction conditions.

He said the composition of those aphrodisiacs could also pre-dispose men to health complications like kidney and liver dysfunction or failure.

“When it comes to sex, the best aphrodisiac is exercise and healthy living, your sexual performance is dependent on your heart health, if your heart is healthy, your sexual performance will improve naturally, taking medication to last long during sex puts pressure on the heart and can lead to death while in the act,” he said.

Dr Owusu said ED was also the body’s way of signaling men to check and improve their health, eat well, exercise regularly and get enough rest, adding "your sexual performance is part of your holistic health, once you are healthy, your waist will do the job".

He said everyman at some point in life would experience ED depending on what they were going through, and that research had also shown that penetrative sex would only last from three to six minutes.

The international Index on Erectile Function (IIEF) says in 1995, there were over 152 million men worldwide, who experienced ED and projects that by 2025, approximately 322 million men will have ED, an increase of nearly 170 million with Africa largely affected.

Dr Owusu said Non-Communicable Diseases like hypertension and diabetes exposed men to ED due to complications or poor treatment of the diseases, explaining that “hypertension will cause ED, the treatment of hypertension may cause ED, but ED caused by the medication can be corrected.”

Selling of sex enhancers is a growing business for many, especially drinking bar operators and herbalists. Some individuals also prepare their on concoctions.

Kwame Amanfo, a public servant, told the Ghana News Agency he had his own mixtures  to enhance sexual pleasure.

"... not the ones advertised on the market, I have herbs, I prepare by myself with alcohol and it is very effective," he said. 

A commercial driver, Master Karkari, said “there is this medicine I take, it’s from China, the medicine is supper, when you take it, you can have sex with a women till the next day and you will still be hard."

Mr. Kingsley Boamah, a pharmacist at the A Blacks Pharmacy, Ablekuma, said in the Ghanaian society, the social expectation that a man had to be strong in bed and last longer during sex had landed many in health crises.

“Some men take the drugs to increase the size of their manhood, most of the men, who buy aphrodisiacs here tell me how they feel disgraced when unable to perform well in bed,” Mr. Boamah said.

Dr Kenneth Klufio, a specialist urologist at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH), said his facility recorded many cases of priapism among men who used aphrodisiac. 

Priapism is a painful erection that lasts for several hours when blood remains in the penis and cannot drain.

He said five to eight men reported with ED daily during consultations, and encouraged men who experience ED to report to hospitals because there is help available to manage the condition.

“ED affects the quality of life, a person’s happiness... seek help,” Dr Klufio said.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.