The survey inspected the knowledge of erectile dysfunction of 3,032 men and women of different age groups between 20 and 70 years old in Spain, France, Germany and the UK.
When they were asked what ED is, the majority of respondents either stated incorrect answers or didn’t know what exactly ED is. Those who were single were the least likely to know the definition of ED.
The EAU Guidelines 2020 on Sexual and Reproductive Health state that “epidemiological data have shown a high prevalence and incidence of ED worldwide.”
“The risk of having ED increases with age, but it affects men of all ages and ethnicities. As a result, there should not be any taboo about it. Although I am happy to see that the majority of the respondents who have experience with ED say to talk about it, there is still room for improvement,” says Prof. Christopher Chapple, Secretary General of the EAU.
One in four of the respondents who have a partner who has previously experienced ED, approximately admitted to not talking about it with anyone.
People suffering with ED often feel uncomfortable to talk about ED and this is the main reason for not seeking professional help.
“Clearly ED is a common medical condition and there’s absolutely no need for shame. Talk about it with each other. This will provide relief and will take away some of the pressure. Communication is the key to breaking the taboo,” Prof. Chapple emphasizes.
A small majority of people with ED seek medical advice from a health care professional. People aged around 20-30 years old are the least likely to see a General practitioner, but the most likely to see a sexual therapist or psychologist.
One in four of the respondents had never heard of any of the treatments for ED listed in the survey: medication, sexual education and relationship therapy, a vacuum erection device, penile injections, penile implants, shockwave therapy, and topical therapies.
“I understand that ED might feel like a private matter to you. But this should not prevent you from improving your quality of life. Please talk about it and seek help,” says Prof. Chapple.