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Survey: Many Malaysians Aware of Erectile Dysfunction, but Over Half Avoid Seeking Medical Help

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A. Menarini Singapore Pte Ltd (Malaysia Branch) recently conducted an online survey on the general understanding and awareness of erectile dysfunction (ED) among Malaysians. ED is defined as the persistent inability to attain and maintain an erection sufficient to permit satisfactory sexual performance. In the 2019 National Health and Morbidity Survey, it was found that among sexually active Malaysian men aged 18 and above, 47.1% had probable mild ED and 31.6% had probable moderate to severe ED.

ED Awareness is Not Enough to Make a Change
According to the survey conducted by A. Menarini, 87.9% of respondents were able to understand the meaning of erectile dysfunction and identify the common symptoms and causes of ED. However, the survey also revealed that 41.5% responded somewhat unlikely when it comes to seeing a health practitioner if struggling with ED. Despite general awareness and understanding about ED, Malaysians are still hesitant about seeking out professional help.

“At A. Menarini, male health is a priority and understanding the sensitivities and taboo surrounding the topic of ED can be a difficult conversation to have not only with your partner, loved ones and your doctor. Findings from the online survey revealed that while Malaysians are aware of ED and how it manifests, there are still more conversations to have about understanding that ED is a treatable condition,” said Amelia Mok, General Manager, ​A. Menarini Singapore Pte Ltd (Malaysia Branch).

The Impact of ED on Patients and Loved Ones
Naturalness and spontaneity are parts of the drivers of sexual intercourse, and for ED patients, time-to-effect plays a big role in achieving successful intercourse. 3 For ED patients, spontaneity in sex can add to psychological concerns further reducing the ability to have successful intercourse. In this survey, 24.5% and 32.1% of respondents stated that ED takes a toll on their mental health and sometimes cause frustration respectively, thus affecting their quality of life. Similarly, for women with partners that struggle with ED, 55.7% of respondents revealed that their confidence and personal satisfaction are affected when intercourse is interrupted due to ED.

The male survey respondents cited the top three causes for their struggles with maintaining an erection as stress and anxiety (34%), exhaustion (32.1%), and other personal reasons (15.1%). From the point of view of the female respondents, the top three causes for their partner’s struggles with ED are stress and anxiety (71.4%), exhaustion (65.7%), and embarrassment or low self-esteem (31.4%). In general, the survey findings have revealed that ED is a medical condition that takes a toll on not only the patient but also the loved ones.

Taking The Next Step: Seek Professional Help
Starting the conversation on erectile dysfunction can be difficult and the Malaysian respondents of the A. Menarini surveys are able to have conversations about sexual health with their partners, most of the respondents are unlikely to see a health practitioner when struggling with ED. 41.5% of male respondents and 44.3% of female respondents are able to have conversations with their partners regarding sexual health and intimacy.

Taking the next step to meet with a health practitioner, is the way forward to help patients struggling with ED and their loved ones to improve their quality of life. Malaysians are aware of ED but there are still great strides to be taken to help Malaysians understand that ED is a common issue and the importance of seeking out professional help to manage their struggles with ED. When the survey respondents were asked to identify the top three common erectile dysfunction treatments, Malaysians named oral drugs or pills (70.1%), testosterone therapy (52.3%), and traditional and herbal remedies (43%).

“For us at A. Menarini, we aim to raise awareness of men’s health, and with erectile dysfunction, it is not enough to just know about ED but to continue to drive the message that ED is almost always a treatable condition. It’s important to educate the public about the benefits of reaching out to health practitioners as ED is a common medical condition,” Amelia concluded.

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