Can erectile dysfunction get better on its own?
And if ED gets worse, what is it that makes it get worse?
Does quitting smoking help with erectile dysfunction recovery?
What about the relationship between obesity and erectile dysfunction?
Can obesity cause erectile dysfunction?
That was the question answered by this very important study.
It’s part of the Massachusetts Male Aging study.
What makes this study so interesting is that it follows the same men.
It follows them day after day, month after month, year after year — even decade after decade.
So we can see how health conditions get better or get worse over time amongst the same men.
Scientists call this a “longitudinal study.”
In this case, the study covers about 400 men, aged 40 to 70 years old.
All these men had erectile dysfunction at the start of the study.
And the question was, what makes it get worse?
Another question was, what makes it gets better?
The study calls it remission when someone gets better.
And they call it progression when their ED grows worse.
In a study like this, all we can do is correlations.
For example, the study found that men who smoked were twice as likely to see their erectile dysfunction getting WORSE.
But that doesn’t mean smoking causes ED to get worse.
It could be that smoking may cause ED to get worse.
Or it may be that people who smoke also have other lifestyle habits that make it worse.
Maybe they get less exercise.
Or maybe they are less happy and more depressed.
They might even be more likely to consume foods that are high and bad fats.
There are a lot of problems with studies like this when people try to make guesses as to what is causing something.
So here are the actual real results.
They are pretty interesting.
So the people that saw their ED get WORSE all had one thing in common.
Their overall health got worse.
The trend in increased risk of ED progression with poorer health was consistent and substantial.
If your health gets worse, you are 2 to 3 times more likely to see your ED get worse.
It was very clear from the study that good health correlates to an improvement in ED symptoms.
It is one reason why I have spent so much effort in emphasizing health issues that affect men.
And how most can easily be fixed.
When I started doing this, I worked with a lot of guys.
The work focused mainly on desensitization which also causes ED.
But health issues are responsible for at least half of ED, as this study points out.
The great news is that ED can get better.
This study was one of the first to persuasively demonstrate that ED can get better or be completely gone.
One thing that was striking is that if ED was complete, and erections completely impossible, getting better was a much rarer event.
As I always say, you either use it or lose it.
Again, the study bears that out.
Of the subjects exhibiting complete ED, the majority (58%) had complete ED at followup.
This also means that 42% of men who had complete ED were able to get better to some degree.
So actually this is very encouraging.
There are some things about it that I want to be very clear.
It could be easy to misunderstand some things.
First of all, smoking correlated with ED getting worse.
But when men quit smoking, their ED did not necessarily improve.
Smoking has little effect on the likelihood of remission once ED is manifest.
What about weight loss and ED?
Is there a connection between weight gain and erectile dysfunction?
Losing weight helped men recover from ED only a very small, maybe insignificant degree.
If you understand “hazard ratios,” they were only 1.05 times more likely to see their ED improve if they lost weight.
That is very low.
And it says that weight loss isn’t going to help most men improve their ED.
Too often, weight loss is considered healthy — even if you compromise your health as you lose weight.
But compromising health to lose weight doesn’t make sense if health is the goal.
I think that is why losing weight doesn’t help ED.
Improving health does, but weight loss does not help much.