Guest Post: Addressing Erectile Dysfunction – Ken Schafer

[Note: Thanks to Ken Schafer for this post! Our podcast interview with Ken is here.]

Ken Schafer

Addressing Erectile Dysfunction

By Ken Schafer From HealthySexualityWithKen.com

What is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is defined as the inability to get or maintain an erection capable of achieving and maintaining penetration. A common misconception is that erectile dysfunction (ED) has one cause, but ED has many causes, including physiological, health, psychological, emotional, and relationship issues. To make matters worse, most men with ED will have multiple contributing factors.

Is ED Psychological or Physical?

Nocturnal erections are erections that occur while sleeping, and healthy men will typically have several per night. Generally, men who are getting several full erections each night do not have physical issues. I recommend seeking therapy from a qualified mental health professional to address the possibility of psychological, emotional, or relationship problems.

If ED is Physical

Suppose the erectile dysfunction has a physical cause. It’s important to understand that ED is like the proverbial canary in the coal mine. It signifies deeper and often subtle health issues. Unfortunately, standard medical practice is only to treat the symptoms. The problem is that the underlying cause will likely worsen as the health issues are left unaddressed. Often resulting in the ED may become untreatable. 

The Standard Treatment

There is a common set of experiences when most men go to their doctor for ED. The doctor will give a Testosterone test. If the test comes back within the normal range, the doctor will prescribe a PDE5 inhibitor like Viagra or Cialis and leave it at that. If PDE5 inhibitors don’t work, the doctor will often prescribe trimix injections. Unfortunately, neither of these treatments addresses the underlying health issue.

There are several problems with this script:

  1. The normal range of Testosterone is not the same as the healthy range, and most doctors do not know this.
  2. Determining if a man has enough Testosterone is more complex than looking at the levels.
  3. Low Testosterone is rarely the sole cause of ED. While it’s an essential component, it’s usually one of many.
  4. Even if they work, PDE5 inhibitors and trimix injections only treat the symptoms, not the root cause.

Dealing With Your Doctor(s)

If you have ED, you must go to your doctor with the understanding that it is a sign that something is going wrong in your body, and the sooner it gets addressed, the better. Do not settle only for prescriptions. Treating the symptoms is fine as long it is accompanied by efforts to find the root cause. Insist that your doctors work with specialists to determine what is going on with your health. If your doctors are unwilling or unable to do this, get new doctors. I cover this topic more in my blog post, What to Look for In a Doctor.

What Can You Do On Your Own?

There is a lot you can do on your own. The most important thing is to adopt a healthy lifestyle encompassing diet, exercise, sleep, meditation, and learning to avoid environmental toxins. Also, many therapeutic practices can help. I cover this in detail in my book, A Practical Guide to Managing Erectile Dysfunction


Erectile dysfunction (ED) is complex, with both physical and psychological causes. Don’t just treat symptoms. Demand that your doctors look for the root cause. Also, adopt a healthy lifestyle and consider therapy for psychological factors. 

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