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Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common medical disorder that can arise due to multiple factors, from aging to underlying health conditions.
Marked by a persistent inability to maintain or get an erection, erectile dysfunction can severely debilitate the quality of life of patients afflicted by it.
While there are numerous causes of erectile dysfunction—ranging from psychological ones to physiological reasons—not all conditions directly lead to this sexual dysfunction.
And hernia—as debilitating as it is—is one medical condition that does not directly cause erectile dysfunction.
Although this condition can affect body parts near the sexual organs, it only plays a very minor role in impacting sexual function.
In fact, it’s only typically after hernia surgery that patients feel a decline in their sexual function.
But why does sexual function worsen post-surgery? How does hernia and hernia repair have an effect on the body specifically? What are the potential other sources of erectile dysfunction in men?
Let’s get started.
What is a Hernia?
A hernia is a circular mass of internal organ or fatty tissue that protrudes through weakened structures within the abdominal wall.
It’s a fairly common condition, with 27% of adult males estimated to develop this condition sometime in their lifetime.
The most common types of hernias are in the abdomen, and the visibility and location varies from person to person.
It’s possible to live with hernia if it’s not causing any discomfort. However, a hernia can be a life-threatening condition when the contents become strangulated, which can cut off blood flow.
As such, if you have a hernia that’s causing discomfort or pain, be sure to check in with medical services immediately.
5 Common Types of Hernia
There are many types of hernia that men can develop. Here are some of the most common ones:
- Inguinal hernia: The most common type of hernia, this occurs when the intestinal contents push through a weak spot or tear in the lower abdominal wall.
- Umbilical hernia: This happens when the small intestine passes through the abdominal wall near the navel.
- Incisional hernia: These hernias typically occur after an abdominal surgery, where the intestines push through the incision scar or the surrounding, weakened tissue.
- Femoral hernia: This type of hernia occurs when a part of the intestine pushes into the canal carrying the femoral artery into the upper thigh.
- Hiatal hernia: This happens when the upper stomach bulges through the large muscle separating the abdomen and chest.
These hernias can happen during injury, surgery, or even appear after birth. It can also occur because of the natural process of aging.
Regardless of the type of hernia you’re dealing with, you’d benefit greatly from consulting with a doctor to help you overcome your condition. They’ll prescribe you the right plan of action and hernia repair surgery procedure to improve your condition.
Can Hernia Cause ED? What The Research Says
Currently, there’s no research journal that has explicitly proven that hernia causes ED.
That said, factors that may arise due to the presence of a hernia (most often the more common inguinal hernia)—like pain, discomfort, and chronic stress—might contribute to ED.
In fact, one study found that nearly a quarter of adult participants complained about hernia-related pain pre-operation.
When one’s under great pain or stress, this signals the body to release hormones that interfere with the normal production of testosterone, which can worsen libido and decrease a man’s inclination to engage in sex.
Besides pain, an inguinal hernia surgery can also lead to temporary sexual dysfunction.
One 2020 study found that sex after hernia surgery caused pain in about 9% of men. In the same study, 5% of men experienced sexual dysfunction a few days after the inguinal hernia repair surgery.
However, it’s noted that these symptoms were only temporary, with one study even noting that postoperative sexual intercourse was preferable over sex pre-operation.
Regardless if a hernia can affect sexual health or not, if you’re facing adverse symptoms due to pain from these inguinal hernias, it’s important to talk to a doctor to help you get you treated with the right inguinal hernia repair procedure.
What Causes Erectile Dysfunction
So, if hernia doesn’t cause ED, at least directly, what does?
The truth is multiple factors can lead to erectile dysfunction.
Here are a few likely reasons why you’re facing erectile dysfunction.
- Hormonal imbalances
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Stress and anxiety
- Venous leak
- Pelvic injuries
If you’re facing any of these health conditions, it’s important to treat the source of the problem. By doing so, you’ll be able to approach ED treatment more effectively.
Furthermore, factors like aging also play a role in accelerating the development of ED. Be sure to be in close contact with a doctor to ensure that your health status remains in good standing.
How to Treat Erectile Dysfunction
Hernia may not be the underlying cause of your erectile dysfunction; however, if you’re dealing with erectile difficulties, you’ll still want to treat it.
Here are some effective methods for dealing with erectile dysfunction:
- Undergo ED therapy
- Reevaluate your dietary habits
- Exercise more frequently
- Undergo RestoreWave therapy
- Avoid stressors
- Watch your medication
- Sleep at least 7 hours a night
By following these health tips with your physician’s supervision, you can likely resume sexual activity without undergoing hernia surgery.
Maximize Your Sexual Potential with Help from Orlando, Florida’s Best Medical Professionals for Men’s Health
Hernia may not have an effect on sexual function, but multiple factors can lead to related sexual dysfunctions, especially among older individuals.
If you’re experiencing unpleasant sexual dysfunction symptoms such as pain during sexual intercourse or reduced sexual desire, it might be an undiagnosed medical problem.
Need assistance? The medical professionals at Premier Men’s Medical Center, one of Orlando’s top men’s health clinics, has a roster of friendly and expert doctors ready to assist you in addressing male health issues.
Schedule an appointment with us today, your initial consultation and first treatment are completely free.