Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Saudi Study: Psychological Stress Chief Cause of Impotence | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat- A study conducted in Saudi Arabia by specialists in the field of andrology* has revealed that out of the surveyed 150 cases suffering from Erectile Dysfunction (ED), 75 percent were impotent due to psychological causes while 25 percent suffered physical afflictions. The men in the survey were aged between 21-35.

Dr. Said Kattan, urologist and member of the Saudi Society of Andrology and Male Infertility, stressed the importance of the men’s understanding of how to deal with women, in addition to the necessary physical and psychological preparation so that the couple’s relationship may be fulfilled.

Elaborating about sexual impotence, Dr. Kattan said that one of the main causes was weak erections, which need to be treated and supervised over by a specialist doctor who can assess the cases and reasons whilst diagnosing the patient accurately and offering sound advice.

The study also revealed that many ED cases are accompaniment with psychological problems, such as anxiety, fear of failure, frustration and depression. Furthermore, it indicated that there were many factors that could lead to the failure of the sexual relationship at the beginning of the marriage and which would have a negative psychological impact on the couple and their new marriage, such as the absence of sexual education. This lack of knowledge has a direct impact on the psychological state and disrupts the intimate relationship between the couple.

Dr. Kattan stressed the importance of examining the patient’s medical history and undergoing the necessary medical examinations in order to ascertain the cause of ED and differentiate between psychological disorders and physical ones.

Dr. Kattan warned that a delay in seeking treatment could lead to socio-psychological problems and an increase in stress and frustration, which in turn can result in a decline in self-confidence which would surely affect the marriage negatively.

It is worthy to mention that the study highlighted numerous cultural and social factors that cause impotence; including the married couple’s lack of attraction, pressure on the husband to prove his sexual prowess, as well as other internal and external variables that could lead to impotence.

Regarding treatment, Dr. Kattan pointed out that most cases of sexual dysfunction are because of performance-related anxiety and frustration, which would require long-term treatment with medication.

Mohamed Khalifa, Pfizer’s product manager for the Middle East, stated that the pharmaceutical company had sold Viagra pills worth SR71 million (US $19 million) annually in Saudi Arabia in 2005 and was the leading state in the region buying the drug. He added that following Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) came second largest, followed by Kuwait, Lebanon and Egypt.

“Since its launch in 1998, Viagra has remained on top for treatment of ED,” said Khalifa. “Viagra commands 63 percent of the total ED market worldwide, despite presence of nine other competing drugs.”

The growth in the sale of such drugs is necessitated by the growth in the number of patients suffering from sexual problems including impotence and ED. The UN estimates that more than 322 million men will be suffering from ED by the year 2025.

* The branch of medicine concerned with men’s health, particularly male infertility and sexual dysfunction