Many young men think arthritis is a problem only for older women – and that myth may be dangerous to their penis function. While it is true that rheumatoid arthritis is three times as likely to occur in women, a significant number of men make up the 1.5 million Americans that suffer from it – and not all of those men are older. Guys who want to exercise proper penis care need to know that even men in their 20s can be in the early stages of rheumatoid arthritis. They also need to know just how this condition could affect their much-prized penis function.
What is rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease of the joints caused by an autoimmune reaction. For some reason, a person’s body starts to interpret the linings of the joints as “foreign” – that is, not a natural part of the body and therefore a threat – and it develops ways to attack those linings in a misguided attempt to protect the body.
This results in sometimes significant pain and stiffness in the joints, especially those in the hands and feet.
Having arthritis is bad enough, but it can also negatively affect a man’s penis function. One 2012 clinical study found that almost two-thirds of men with rheumatoid arthritis reported having some degree of erectile dysfunction.
So why does arthritis have an impact on penis function? The logical assumption would be that the immune system is attacking the penis itself, but that’s not exactly the case. The penis is not a joint and so the immune system doesn’t have it on its misguided radar system.
Rheumatoid arthritis causes inflammation, and it is believed that this inflammation may extend to penile blood vessels. The inflammation prevents the blood vessels from operating in the proper manner, so that when a man becomes aroused and blood is supposed to rush into the penis, it is not able to do so properly.
To make matters worse, some medications used to treat arthritis are believed to potentially impact penis function (and not in a positive way).
But the inflammation is not the only issue that men with arthritis may encounter. Studies also indicate that men with rheumatoid arthritis typically also have lowered levels of testosterone, which in turn can lead to a depressed libido.
In addition, many people with arthritis find it affects them mentally and emotionally as well. Patients are more likely to experience higher levels of depression, and this is also a factor both in lowering sex drive and in affecting erectile function.
Finally, the significant pain associated with arthritis can play a role. It may be difficult to obtain and/or maintain a workable sexual position due to the pains in other parts of the body, decreasing the enjoyment of or even the physical functioning of a sexual experience.
Men who suspect they have rheumatoid arthritis should promptly visit a doctor in order to get a diagnosis. Early diagnosis means that treatment can be initiated earlier, which increases the possibility of a positive outcome.
Men also need to help maintain penile function, whether they have arthritis or not, by paying proper attention to the overall health of the penis. Daily application of a top drawer penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin) is suggested to help maintain a healthy piece of equipment. Men like to feel that their penis has a certain degree of firmness, and a crème with vitamin C can be useful in that regard. Vitamin C is an essential component of collagen production, which is useful in maintaining penile firmness. The best cremes also contain L-arginine, an amino acid that helps penile blood vessels dilate and be more receptive to a larger influx of blood.