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At least a third of the entire male population is suffering from erectile dysfunction, according to a 2018 review (1). Since a lot of these men fear being judged or bullied, most of them choose to keep their condition a secret until it begins to affect their personal life.
Erectile dysfunction has been linked to a few causative factors, but there’s one question that seems to be up for debate: is erectile dysfunction a pre-existing condition? Let’s find out:
What Is a Pre-Existing Condition?
A pre-existing condition is essentially any medical condition that existed before a person enrolled for health benefits.
In the United States, there used to be problems with insurance companies not covering the healthcare expenses due to pre-existing conditions.
But since January 1, 2014, all insurance companies are already mandated to cover pre-existing conditions under their health insurance plans under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2).
Is Erectile Dysfunction a Pre-Existing Condition?
Unfortunately, erectile dysfunction is still not categorized as a pre-existing condition under the newest amendment in the Affordable Care Act.
Worse, the new American Health Care Act or Trumpcare now brings back the right of insurance companies to deny coverage to pre-existing conditions, a move that’s part of President Donald Trump’s plan to repeal Obamacare.
It’s a whole different story in the United Kingdom; however, where men with erectile dysfunction can seek treatment under the NHS that offers virtually free healthcare services for locals (3).
Whether or not erectile dysfunction will finally be included in the new Trumpcare is still up for debate and will eventually be the decision of President Trump.
What Are the Treatments Available for Erectile Dysfunction?
Fortunately, there are already a lot of treatment options available for men who have erectile dysfunction. Sildenafil (Viagra) is still the most popular medication for the condition due to its efficiency, (4) although variants like Tadalafil and Vardenafil are also gaining popularity in the market.
Some practitioners may also recommend penis pumps, implants, and even surgery to correct the condition depending on its severity.
But for those who can’t afford to pay out of pocket for these conventional treatments, there are alternative options including:
According to research studies, undergoing aerobic exercise 4 times a week for 40 minutes can help with erectile dysfunction by improving blood flow to the body and reducing the risks of obesity, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease, all of which are predisposing factors for the condition (5).
- Red Ginseng
Touted as the herbal Viagra, red ginseng has been proven effective in dealing with erectile dysfunction in seven studies (6). This is due to the presence of ginsenosides that acts at the cellular level to improve erection.
A 2003 study revealed that 21% of men who suffered from erectile dysfunction and received acupuncture reported improved erections (7).
Although this treatment is still up for debate, the risks associated with it can be lowered if a patient only gets acupuncture from a licensed acupuncturist.
Of course, there are also lifestyle modifications like weight loss, proper diet, and mental health that could help deal with erectile dysfunction more naturally and inexpensively.