Why Men Risks Health for Sexual Performance?

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The problem of impotence, in general, comes in different forms. Still, the most common form of this problem is when a man is unable to fully participate in sexual intercourse simply because the penis is unable to stand and last for a long time, eventually shrinking before finishing the act of marriage.

This problem of erectile dysfunction (ED) is facing men of all ages. In Tanzania, the prevalence of ED is estimated to be 20 per cent among men aged 18-49 years. While ED can be caused by various medical conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, it can also be caused by psychological factors, such as stress and anxiety.

In recent years, there has been a growing trend of men in Tanzania using erectile enhancers, such as Viagra and Cialis, locally ‘Vumbi la Kongo’ or ‘Alkasusu’. These drugs are often marketed as a quick and easy way to improve sexual performance. However, several health risks are associated with erectile enhancers, especially among young people.

Globally, studies show that premature ejaculation is a common form of sexual dysfunction that affects around 25 to 30 per cent of men of all ages and backgrounds.

One study published in the journal “Reproductive Health” found that 1 in 10 young men in Tanzania had used an erectile enhancer in the past year. Of those who had used erectile enhancers, 40 per cent had experienced side effects such as headache, nausea, and dizziness. Sometimes, the side effects can be more serious, such as a heart attack, stroke, and even death.

A study conducted by Muhimbili University College of Health and Allied Sciences in 2013 suggests an increase in the prevalence of erectile dysfunction in the population, with 55.1 per cent of diabetic patients attending diabetic clinics found to have some form of erectile dysfunction.

Factors Contributing to Erectile Dysfunction

  1. Depression is a psychological illness involving intense thoughts for a long time, leading to discomfort due to feeling worthless or not enjoying the things you used to do that made you happy before. These thoughts affect your conduct in your life, including a lack of romantic desires.
  2. The use of Drugs and Alcohol can lead to the problem of not wanting to have sex. Medicines that contribute to this problem include anti-hypertensive drugs, antidepressants, and all drugs that inhibit the functioning or production of testosterone, such as cimetidine, finasteride, and cyproterone.
  3. Being Older: The level of the testosterone hormone responsible for sexual feelings in men decreases by 1-2 per cent every year as a man gets older. When the testosterone level drops in a man’s body, he becomes impotent, unable to calm his thoughts on what he has done, and loses the desire to have sex.
  4. Health Problems such as Long-term health problems (chronic diseases) cause a decrease in the desire to have sex, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems, long-term cancer, and obesity.
  5. Social Pressures and Peer Influence: The rise of social media and the widespread dissemination of idealized body images and sexual prowess have contributed to a culture of comparison and unrealistic expectations.

In this context, the allure of erectile enhancers as a quick fix to boost sexual confidence and performance becomes more appealing, mainly when influenced by peers who may also be engaging in their use.

What are the Health risks Associated with Erectile Enhancers?

  • Cardiovascular Risks: Many erectile enhancers enhance blood flow to the genital area, impacting cardiovascular health. Individuals with pre-existing heart conditions or those taking nitrate medications are particularly susceptible to experiencing dangerously low blood pressure, leading to potential heart attacks or strokes.
  • Priapism: The prolonged, painful erection known as priapism is a rare but severe side effect associated with enhancers. While the idea of an extended passionate encounter might seem enticing, the reality of priapism often involves a trip to the emergency room to prevent tissue damage and permanent dysfunction.
  • Vision and Hearing Impairment: Some users have reported sudden vision or hearing loss after taking erectile enhancers. Though the exact link is still being explored, the risk of experiencing these sensory impairments remains a concern.
  • Psychological Dependence: The psychological impact of relying on enhancers to achieve and maintain an erection can lead to dependence and anxiety. The pressure to perform can exacerbate existing stressors and negatively impact emotional well-being.
  • Drug Interactions: Erectile enhancers can interact with other medications, potentially leading to adverse effects or reducing the efficacy of certain drugs. This poses a significant challenge for individuals managing multiple health conditions.

A Call for Sexual Health Education in Tanzania

There are several ways to raise awareness about the health risks of erectile enhancers among young men in Tanzania. One way is to educate young people about the causes of ED and the different treatment options available.

Another way is to discourage pornography, alcohol, and drugs. Finally, promoting healthy lifestyles, such as eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly, is essential.

I believe that it is essential to educate young men about the health risks of erectile enhancers. These medications can effectively treat ED but also have serious side effects. Young men must be aware of the risks before taking these medications.

I also believe that it is vital to promote healthy sexual behaviours among young men. This includes having open and honest conversations about sex, practising safe sex, and seeking help if they are experiencing ED.

By taking these factors into account, we can raise awareness about the health risks of erectile enhancers in a way that is effective and culturally sensitive. We can help protect young men in Tanzania from these risks and promote their sexual health.

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