Sexual health expert Dr. Catherine Hood answers a question on erection problems in the company of Emma Howard.
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Emma Howard: Hello! We are answering questions on sexual health. I am joined by Dr. Catherine Hood. Hello Catherine! Dr. Catherine Hood: Hello! Emma Howard: I have a question here from a young man who has recently been having trouble maintaining an erection. He says my wife has a very high sex drive and I am afraid of losing her. What can I do? Dr. Catherine Hood: Okay. It should be really difficult. And I think quite obviously he is feeling under stress. Stress and pressure to perform are probably the most common reason why young men, in particular, have problems with their erections. The way to really know whether your problem is -- I mean I don't want to classify really into psychological and physical, but you can put it into two broad categories. The way to know whether it's likely to be a physical problem as in a health underlying medical problem, is if you are still getting morning erections. Now, you see a lot of men will get erections in the morning spontaneously. And if you are still getting those, you know the apparatus still works and its fine. Emma Howard: So a lot of the problem is up here. So if you are feeling under pressure, it's going to make -- Emma Howard: Stress, yeah, pressure to perform. You start observing things far too much. You are watching your erection and the minute you start watching your erection you will lose it. The other thing is stress can also make you drink a little bit too much alcohol, probably one of the other big causes in young people who have erectile failure is just drinking too much alcohol and smoking too many cigarettes and living a bit too much of a fast life and not getting enough sleep. So you do need to look after yourself. Now obviously, there are physical things that can cause problems and anything that sort of damages the erectile apparatus, so that's the blood supply, the nerve supply to the penis can cause some gross problems. So diseases like diabetes, medicines that people take for heart problems. This is a young man, so I am anticipating he is probably not taking any of these things. But some of these drugs or beta blockers, which some people take for anxiety, can also affect your sexual functioning. Emma Howard: But as you say a sign is if you are not getting one of those natural early erections in the morning then the apparatus probably needs to be checked out. Dr. Catherine Hood: Yeah, it needs to be checked out by a doctor. And in fact research has shown that in fact with most people who have erectile problems, there is an underlying physical problem going on. So it's worth going and talking to your doctor about it if it persists. But if this is just a temporary -- you are quite young, you are fit and healthy, it may just be that you are suffering from stress. Emma Howard: And in his case he definitely needs to talk to his wife because of course he is felling under pressure that here is a woman who has a high sex drive and is going to lose interest. Emma Howard: Exactly. And I think that's the way to tackle it rather than taking a lot of drugs. Now obviously, things have changed since the advent of Viagra and the various drugs that are similar, because these can really help somebody to get an erection. It's easy to get hold of Viagra over the internet. I think you shouldn't do that because a lot of the Viagra that's sold over the internet isn't actually Viagra or it could be mixed with all sorts of things. The best thing to do is if this problem persists is to go and see your doctor. Now they can prescribe you Viagra, if they feel it's going to help you. But it's a matter of looking at both the physical and psychological at the same time. Emma Howard: Catherine, very good advice. Thank you. Well, if you have a similar problem, we hope we might have given you some help. But remember, it's always best to go and see your own doctor for medical advice. Thanks for watching. We will be back with more health questions and answers.