Erectile Dysfunction is a common condition that affects men of all ages, but it is most often seen in middle-aged and older men.
The term erectile dysfunction refers to the inability to get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. It can also be referred to as impotence.
The causes of erectile dysfunction are many and varied. Some of these include:
• Physical problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, prostate enlargement, nerve damage from injury or surgery, neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis, and certain medications.
• Psychological factors including depression, stress, anxiety, fear, anger, guilt, relationship issues, and low self-esteem.
• Relationship concerns and conflicts with partners.
• Lack of knowledge about sex and sexuality.
• Substance abuse (including alcohol).
• Certain medical conditions like thyroid issues, Peyronie’s Disease, and chronic pain syndromes.
• Illness or injury resulting in physical disability.
• Medications used to treat other health concerns.
• Age – Erectile function begins to decline after age 40.
Because erectile dysfunction may have psychological or emotional components, it is important to rule out any underlying mental illness before making assumptions about the cause of your issue.
In addition, if you experience frequent episodes of erectile dysfunction, you should see your doctor.
This will help them to determine whether there is something physically wrong with you.
Treating Erectile Dysfunction
There are two main types of treatments available for erectile dysfunction:
1) Oral medication. These drugs work by stimulating nerves in the penis, so they send more blood into the organ.
They are usually taken just prior to sexual activity. Examples include Viagra®, Cialis® and Levitra®.
2) Intracavernosal injection therapy. A small amount of medicine is injected directly into the penis through the urethra.
This works by relaxing muscles around the penis and allowing blood to flow into it. Examples include Staxyn® and Prostavasin®.
3) Penile implants. Implants are surgically placed inside the penis. They consist of a rod made of silicone rubber, plastic, or metal.
An electric pump is attached to the outside of the body and, when turned on, pushes fluid into the implant.
The fluid then travels down the tube and expands the cylinder. When the cylinder is filled, the penis becomes rigid. Examples include Silafluorides® and Infusaid®.
4) Vacuum devices. These devices use suction to draw blood into the penis. They do not require batteries.
The vacuum is applied at the base of the penis and draws blood up into the organ. Examples include Vacuumsafe® and Vacuum Eze®.
5) External penile prosthesis. These devices are surgically implanted under the skin of the scrotum or abdomen.
They consist of two parts: a reservoir which holds liquid and a pumping mechanism that moves the liquid into the penis. There are different types of reservoirs.
Some are cylindrical, while others are semi-spherical. The pumping mechanisms vary too. Some are mechanical, while others are hydraulic.
6) Pelvic floor exercises. These exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which support the bladder and rectum.
Strengthening these muscles can improve urinary control and prevent leakage during intercourse. Exercises can be done daily or several times per week.
7) Psychological counseling. Counseling helps patients understand their feelings and deal with stress. It also teaches them how to relax and enjoy intimacy.
8) Sexual counseling. This type of counseling focuses on improving communication between partners.
It also provides information about sex for those who want to learn more.
9) Medication adjustments. Drugs such as antidepressants, antihistamines, and anticonvulsant can sometimes cause impotence.
If this occurs, a patient should consult his physician.
10) Surgery. Surgical procedures involving the penis are rare, but may be necessary. For example, some men develop scar tissue after an injury to the penis.
This causes the penis to become smaller than normal.
Other surgeries involve lengthening the penis (phalloplasty) or removing excess skin from the penis (circumcision).
To conclude, erectile dysfunction is common among men of all ages.
It is usually caused by physical factors such as diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, stress, and age.
Psychological factors like depression, anxiety, relationship issues, and low self-esteem can also contribute to erectile dysfunction.
Prior to taking any medication to treat your erectile dysfunction, you should ascertain whether your symptoms are psychological or physiological.
If you are having issues with your partner, then these can be rectified through talking therapy as opposed to taking Viagra or an alternative form of medication.
Stress is one of the leading causes of erectile dysfunction, and it is therefore imperative that you exercise on a regular basis and make necessary lifestyle adjustments in order to decrease your stress levels.
Exercising regularly will heighten your libido and inherently increase your likelihood of forming an erection.
Above all, you shouldn’t be embarrassed about suffering from erectile dysfunction.
ED is more common than you would think and can be caused by a variety of multifaceted factors.
While it is most common in middle-aged men, men of all ages can suffer from ED and therefore, you should ensure that you are maintaining a healthy lifestyle and avoiding using tobacco products or drinking on a regular basis irrespective of how old you are.
This will naturally decrease your chances of developing prostate cancer and other diseases.
If you believe that your erectile dysfunction may be caused by injury or a serious illness like prostate cancer, then you should consult with your doctor immediately and do not hesitate to openly discuss your symptoms with them.
They will be able to set your mind at ease and conduct a thorough evaluation which, in turn, may decrease your stress levels and help you to move towards forming an erection naturally without intervention.