The start of fall means one thing for many – the start of football season. College and NFL football fans across the country are already dawning their team’s colors and enjoying full days of tailgating and football games. While it’s literally all fun and games for fans, it could be a different story for players; Harvard has released a study linking NFL player concussions to erectile dysfunction, or ED.
While concussions experienced by professional football players have been noted to cause serious short-term and long-term effects, erectile dysfunction and low testosterone weren’t previously linked to concussions until now.
The link between concussions and ED
Researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School surveyed 3,409 ex-professional football players for two years, and found that approximately 18.3% reported lowered testosterone levels and 22.7% had ED later in life. Men who reported the most concussion-related head injuries were more than twice as likely to deal with lowered testosterone, and the number went even higher for erectile dysfunction. Those with a greater number of concussion injuries were 72% more likely to have ED.
On average, the former football players surveyed were 53 years old and played in the NFL for an average of 7 seasons. Researchers took into account variables including age, prescription pills, steroids and alcohol use, along with diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Despite these considerations, there was still a strong connection between concussions and ED and low testosterone. The connection was even stronger for men who used prescription painkillers or experienced sleep apnea.
While an exact cause between concussions and erectile dysfunction wasn’t stated, damage to the pituitary gland could be the answer. When a football player receives a head injury like a concussion, it’s possible the tissue connecting the pituitary gland to the brain receives significant damage. The pituitary gland is especially important because it regulates testosterone levels. Furthermore, severe or multiple impacts can affect blood vessels which further limits circulation throughout the whole body. Healthy blood flow is important to achieve and maintain erections.
It’s important to note that a definitive conclusion wasn’t reached. However, if you’re a man who played football in high school or college and are experiencing ED symptoms, it’s perhaps time to consider previous concussions as a potential reason. Researchers involved in the study did point to the possibility of injuries suffered at a young age having serious repercussions later in a man’s life.
At Giddy, we’ve developed an easy-to-use, wearable device for treating ED that doesn’t require doctor visits or prescriptions. Our device is placed on the base of the penis and allows blood to flow optimally into the penis, making for healthy, normal erections. There’s nothing invasive, and it causes none of the side effects from ED pills. Giddy is made from medical-grade, soft-touch material that’s body-safe and free of PVC or latex.
Football is the great American game, but it’s important to remember that the physicality involved can be quite detrimental to players’ quality of life in the context of their sexual activity and confidence. For former football players (or any man) experiencing ED during retirement, Giddy can be a life-changing solution.