Erectile dysfunction (ED), also known as impotency, is a rare condition that occurs in most men making them incapable of developing sexual desire (libido) by the hormone (testosterone) that is needed in order for males to have sexual intercourse with their partner or spouse.
A sexual deficit in males such as erectile dysfunction in men arises due to several reasons. A few reasons include unhealthy diet, lack of physical activities, psychological challenges like stress, depression, and anxiety, drug addiction, smoking, drinking, side effects from prolonged use of medications, sexually contracting diseases and infections as well as complications arising post-surgery, among others.
Aside from this, there is a probability that a hernia and hernia surgery may be linked to affecting the risk of complications with erectile dysfunction in adult males.
Here, we’re going to take a brief look at whether or not can a hernia cause erectile dysfunction or the surgery that could affect erectile dysfunction in males, and their solutions, if any.
Hernia and Sexual Dysfunction in Males – What You Need to Know
A person with erectile dysfunction or impotency loses the ability to copulate with his partner due to a lack of low testosterone level which decreases the person’s sexual desire, thus, resulting in a short and unsatisfactory sex drive.
Impotency in males can give rise to many other problems which could affect their health and relationship with their partner. Furthermore, if left untreated, the person could experience other complications, either temporarily or chronically.
What is Hernia?
A hernia is a protrusion that occurs commonly in the abdomen, upper thigh, and groin areas of the human body. A protrusion or rupture can consist of an organ that tries to thrust forward or outward through a natural or accidental opening in the tissue or muscle walls (such as the abdomen and groin areas) that is supposed to hold it back. This may also cause painful swelling of the protruded area in the body.
Now, there are different types of hernias, and depending on their severity, they are often categorised into acute and chronic hernias. However, the most common types of hernias occur in the abdomen and groin areas in adult males.
Hernias are also likely to pose a risk of complications that may affect the person’s health and bodily functions, if not treated immediately. On the other hand, a few complications may occur in the person after going through surgery.
Types of Hernia
There are many different types of hernias that can occur and affect different areas of the body. Among these, a few different types of commonly occurring hernias are :
(a) Inguinal Hernia
Inguinal hernia is a type of hernia commonly occurring in adult males. It occurs when the intestines push through a weak wall of tissue or muscle in the lower abdomen area, often in the inguinal canal.
The inguinal canal is found in the groin area. In men, it is the area where the spermatic cord passes from the abdomen to the scrotum. This cord attaches to the testicles. The canal is supposed to close almost completely behind them. Sometimes, the canal doesn’t close properly, leaving a weakened area allowing the organ to push through.
(b) Hiatal Hernia
A hiatal hernia is another type of hernia that commonly occurs in persons who are 50 years and older. It is known to cause gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD). In GERD, the stomach contents leak backwards into the oesophagus, causing a burning sensation.
A hiatal hernia occurs when an area of the stomach protrudes upward through the diaphragm and into the chest cavity. The diaphragm is a sheet of muscle that makes breathing possible by contracting and drawing air into the lungs. It separates the organs in the abdomen from those in the chest.
Does Hernia Affect Erectile Dysfunction in Adult Males?
A hernia could cause erectile dysfunction in a few different ways. First, the pain and discomfort associated with a hernia can make it difficult to achieve or maintain an erection. Secondly, if a person is affected by a hernia, or perhaps, after undergoing hernia surgery, it can cause nerve damage or disrupt blood flow to the penis, which can also lead to erectile dysfunction.
Symptoms of Hernia:
- Bulge or lump in the affected area
- Pain or discomfort, especially when lifting or bending
- Weakness or pressure in the abdomen or groin
Experienced healthcare providers can diagnose and treat hernias using a variety of techniques, including surgery. Additionally, there are a range of treatments for erectile dysfunction that can include medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes.
Solutions and Treatment for Improving Erectile Dysfunction After a Hernia Surgery
Erectile dysfunction occurs in the male genital organ. Most men suffering from erectile dysfunction experience problems with producing and maintaining lasting erections. Men with ED have difficulty engaging in sexual activity with their partner, thereby affecting their sex drive and sexual relationship with their partner.
A few men may experience erectile dysfunction, quite possibly as a side effect post hernia surgery, which could last a few weeks, or longer. This is because during the surgery if any of the nerves, tissues, muscles, or blood vessels (capillaries) that are responsible for activating sexual desires and penal erections are damaged or injured, this may prolong the recovery.
If a person was experiencing erectile dysfunction before the surgery, there are fewer chances to resolve the condition after surgery. Since erectile dysfunction may occur as a side effect in men who have just undergone a hernia surgery, the condition could also have a significant effect on the person’s health and sexual life. Also, the time required to recover from erectile dysfunction after a hernia surgery could take longer, and even much longer given the state of the person’s condition.
Hernias are generally treated by performing surgery.
In addition to surgery, the treatment options for erectile dysfunction caused by a hernia include:
- Medication, such as Viagra (Sildenafil) or Cialis (Tadalafil) etc.
- Therapy, such as counselling or sex therapy
- Lifestyle changes, such as exercise, diet, and stress management
Doctors may recommend and prescribe their patients certain medicines in small doses which could temporarily help them maintain erections when indulging in sexual intercourse. The effect of such medication drugs may last for a few hours. Bear in mind, that medication drugs also come with side effects, especially when taken multiple times a day or if continuing the dose for longer periods of time.
However, other than taking medication drugs prescribed by doctors to help treat erectile dysfunction after hernia surgery, engaging oneself in activities such as physical exercises, and eating a healthy diet (including green leafy vegetables, and foods rich in proteins), can lead to a faster recovery.
A hernia will not go away on its own. It may get worse over time and can lead to serious complications if left untreated. Therefore, surgery is often necessary to treat a hernia.