Impotence is emerging as a major cause of divorce in India, says a
recent study, adding that around 20-30 percent marriages in India
are breaking up for want of satisfaction in sexual life.
The study, conducted by Alpha One Andrology Group, an association
of doctors dealing in sex-related problems in men, took into
account nearly 2,500 Indian men suffering from erectile
dysfunction or impotence.
The study found that erectile dysfunction affects 50 percent of
men over the age of 40 and 10 percent of men below 40.
"The analysis revealed that of the 2,500 men suffering from
erectile dysfunction, one in five were divorced while the
marriages of one in 10 were on the verge of breaking over their
physical health," Anup Dhir, a reconstruction surgeon and
andrologist, told IANS.
Impotence is the most poorly understood and mismanaged of all
medical disorders and results in marriages breaking up, the study
"Maintaining a healthy marriage requires time, effort and
compromise from both spouses. When one or both spouses find a
marriage to be unsatisfactory, it is likely because of problems
that arise due to issues with communication, expectations or
sexual dissatisfaction," said Dhir.
The study found that a married couple on an average has sex 58
times per year, or slightly more than once a week.
"If the number lacks, it means there is a problem with partner.
Sexual impotence is becoming a common problem among couples in
major cities due to sedentary lifestyle, hypertension and busy
schedule," he said.
Diabetes emerged as the leading cause of erectile dysfunction
followed by hypertension.
"As many as 48 percent of patients above the age of 40 were
diabetic while 45 percent with hypertension have severe erectile
dysfunction. Men who have diabetes are found to develop erectile
dysfunction nearly 10 to 15 years earlier than men who do not
suffer from the disease," the study highlighted.
Furthermore, people with diabetes frequently take medication to
lower blood pressure.
Common prescriptions for blood pressure like some diuretics and
beta blockers are known to cause erectile dysfunction.
"These drugs not only affect and at times suppress the central
nervous system but can also cause serious damage to the blood
vessels, resulting in permanent erectile dysfunction," C.M. Batra,
an endocrinologist with Apollo Hospital, told IANS.
According to Batra, other primary causes of erectile dysfunction
include lifestyle issues like smoking, drinking alcohol, being
overweight and exercising too little, among others.
Dhir said that taking medical help for erectile dysfunction
continues to remain a stigma among Indian men as they are not
ready to accept the fact until it comes to the breaking up of
"Men have an ego problem in accepting the fact and most of them
remain secretive about their sexual health, which leads to delayed
treatment," he said.
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