Systemic lupus erythematosus, more popularly referred to as simply lupus, can make you lose your ability to achieve an erection. In fact, lupus can cause other sexual dysfunction, too. When you’re battling with lupus, you have to take a lot of medications, and some of these medications also contribute to sexual dysfunction.
An autoimmune condition, this severe disease causes inflammation and swelling. Lupus results in a lot of damage to internal organs like the heart and kidney. Because of the pain and due to the adverse effects of medications, your sex life can suffer due to lupus. Find out how this debilitating disease can cause sexual dysfunction.
Lupus is a disease that can induce your immune system to attack your healthy tissues, skin, and organs. This autoimmune disease can adversely affect any body part, including your skin, blood vessels, and your internal organs. Lupus causes pain, inflammation, and damage to your tissues and organs.
Affecting millions of Americans, lupus is a non-contagious disease that may result from extreme stress, excessive exposure to sunlight or ultraviolet light, infections, and even due to certain medications.
Lupus flare-ups may be moderate or severe. It can also be life-threatening, especially if the disease attacks your heart or your lungs. Unfortunately, there is no cure for lupus and the medications prescribed to lupus patients are typically just for managing the symptoms.
Systemic lupus erythematosus is considered more severe than discoid lupus. The former affects various parts of the body, whereas the latter causes rashes that are limited to the skin, usually on the face, scalp, and neck. With systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE, you may experience periods of remission and periods of flare.
Neonatal lupus is another form of the disease which usually happens when autoantibodies are passed by the mother to the fetus. As a result, the unborn or the newborn child will suffer from rashes or develop complications.
Drug-induced lupus is another type of lupus. This one happens as an adverse reaction to a medication. The most common medications that cause drug-induced lupus include procainamide and hydralazine.
Lupus and Sexual Dysfunction
Lupus usually affects women, but when it does affect men, it almost always causes some form of sexual dysfunction. In one study, for instance, researchers found that the prevalence of both hypogonadism and erectile dysfunction are quite high.
Involving 26 men with systemic lupus erythematosus, the study showed that the prevalence of symptomatic hypogonadism in men with lupus can be as high as more than 60%. The prevalence of erectile dysfunction is even higher at 76%.
Furthermore, the researchers also noted that men who are suffering from lupus and erectile dysfunction tend to have smaller testicular volume, as compared to men with lupus who had a normal erectile function.
In addition, the testicular volume was also found to be directly related to testosterone levels, meaning those with low testicular volume also had lower levels of testosterone.
A more recent study validated the high prevalence of erectile dysfunction in men with lupus. This 2017 study had 157 male Latin American patients. The researchers noted that the prevalence of erectile dysfunction was 68%. The average of the lupus patients with erectile dysfunction was only 35.3 years.
Erectile dysfunction is not the only sexual dysfunction that lupus can cause. For one, a lot of patients with lupus suffer from extreme fatigue. This can then result in a significantly reduced drive for sex. Those who have more frequent lupus flares tend to suffer the most decrease in libido.
Aside from reduced libido due to fatigue, lupus may also make sex uncomfortable or painful. When you have systemic lupus erythematosus, your joints may become swollen and painful. This can make it difficult for you to find a comfortable sexual position or to thrust vigorously when you’re having sex.
In many instances, lupus causes reduced sexual satisfaction, both for men and women. Ejaculatory failure is another sexual dysfunction that has also been associated with lupus.
Lupus has also been associated with poor body image, low self-esteem, and even depression. These adverse psychological impacts of lupus can also contribute to sexual dysfunction, especially sexual performance anxiety and erectile dysfunction.
The emotional and physical problems that lupus can cause may also result in a decrease in the quality of your sex life. When you’re going through a lupus flare, and especially if your entire face is covered with rashes or when your joints are swollen and painful, you may want to avoid having sex altogether.
You may also feel less confident about your sexual prowess if you’re feeling fatigued. And if you’re depressed because of your disease, that can also make you feel less interested in sex. Plus, depression can also contribute to your erectile problems.
All these do not mean, however, that you can no longer engage in sex when you have lupus. You can still continue to have intimate relationships, but you’ll need to find ways to manage your symptoms so that they won’t prevent you from enjoying your sexuality.
For instance, if fatigue is the number one reason why you’re unable to have sex, then you may want to look for ways to relieve or at least reduce your fatigue. If the pain prevents you from having sex, you may want to take pain medications before you engage in sex.
If necessary, you can schedule your sexual activities so that you can have sex when the pain is not so intense. You can also explore other sex positions that so that you can be comfortable and not in pain when you’re having sex.
Managing Sexual Dysfunction
To increase your testosterone level and improve your libido, you should take Malegenix, an effective sexual performance enhancer for men. Malegenix is a supplement that’s made with herbs like Tongkat Ali and Tribulus terrestris. Maca and horny goat weed are also contained in Malegenix.
These herbs, especially maca and Tongkat Ali, can help you fight fatigue. They can also enhance your testosterone levels and increase your desire for sex. Most important of all, the herbs contained in Malegenix are all known to be potent when it comes to improving erectile function.