Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is the medical condition where a man cannot achieve and maintain an erection for sexual intercourse. Multiple factors can lead to ED, some of them being lifestyle-related, while others could be medical conditions.
Men often suffer from sexual anxiety, preventing them from achieving a firm erection for sexual intercourse. Erectile Dysfunction is treatable, and it is something that men should no longer feel embarrassed about.
Why is Erectile Dysfunction an issue?
Erectile Dysfunction is an issue because men find it embarrassing to discuss their sexual life. It has been a taboo for a long time.
Since people do not like talking about this issue, most men do not understand it correctly. There are various treatments available for it, but since men do not want to talk about it, many go untreated .
What are the symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction?
The persistent difficulty in achieving and maintaining an erection is the main symptom of Erectile Dysfunction. As a result, there is a lack of sex drive or sexual urges. Another known sign is that ED patients often experience depression as well as anxiety.
When to call your doctor about Erectile Dysfunction?
At some point, all men will face issues while attaining an erection. But, you need to monitor the condition; If your condition worsens with time and you are unable to have an erection, then you should call the doctor. If you can get an erection when you wake up in the morning or while masturbating, then this might have something to do with your thoughts.
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What are the causes of Erectile Dysfunction?
There are three leading causes of Erectile Dysfunction: lifestyle, medical, and psychological.
Lifestyle causes of Erectile Dysfunction:
● Smoking: Smoking can cause plaque buildup (accumulation of fatty substances) in your arteries. It is medically known as atherosclerosis. The plaque soon begins to obstruct blood flow, which is vital in gaining an erection. Low blood flow means a weak erection.
● Alcohol or substance abuse: Frequent alcohol consumption can lead to low testosterone levels, which in time will lead to a decrease in your libido. Constant alcohol consumption can also cause hormonal imbalances.
● Stress: Stress is one of the leading causes of ED in men. A combination of stress and anxiety interrupts your brain’s signals to allow the right amount of blood flow to your penis. It is a cycle where stress or anxiety can lead to ED, which in turn results in a massive growth of stress or anxiety.
Medical causes of Erectile Dysfunction:
● Cardiac ailments
● Atherosclerosis (Narrow blood vessels)
● Hyperlipidemia (High cholesterol)
● Parkinson’s syndrome
● Multiple Sclerosis or spinal cord injuries
● Surgical complications
● Injuries to the pelvic region
The psychological causes of Erectile Dysfunction:
Multiple psychological causes can lead to ED in a man. Some of them are as follows:
● Guilt: Men who feel guilty during sexual intercourse often find it hard to achieve an erection. It is one of the most common psychological causes of ED.
● Insecurities with intimacy: People who have not had much intimacy in their lives can feel insecure while performing intercourse for the first time. It may bring a feeling of nervousness, fear, and anxiety. These insecurities and stress will interrupt the flow of blood to the penis resulting in an inadequate erection.
● Depression or anxiety: People suffering from depression or anxiety might experience ED. The two mental disorders can cause low levels of confidence and, in some cases, panic among men while getting intimate for the first time results in a weak erection.
What are the risk factors for getting Erectile Dysfunction?
Several risk factors can heighten your chances of suffering from Erectile Dysfunction. The factors that contribute to Erectile Dysfunction as follows:
● Excessive tobacco or alcohol consumption : Excessive consumption of alcohol or tobacco use can lead to restricted blood flow through the veins and arteries. Over time, this can lead to Erectile Dysfunction.
● Diabetes and Heart disease: People who have diabetes or cardiac issues can experience ED.
● Injuries: If you sustain an injury that affects your pelvic region or an injury that damages your nerves and arteries it can cause ED.
● Being obese: Being overweight or unhealthy can lead to experiencing ED.
● Stress, anxiety, or depression: Psychological conditions such as stress, depression, or anxiety can also lead to ED.
● Medication: Some medications such as antidepressants, high blood pressure medicines, pain killers can cause Erectile Dysfunction.
What complications can Erectile Dysfunction cause?
Erectile Dysfunction can cause several problems such as unsatisfactory sex life, low sex drive, relationship issues, inability to get a partner pregnant, low self-esteem and low confidence levels, stress, depression, and anxiety.
ED can take a toll on the mind of the patient. Since there is a lack of social acceptance and public discussion on this topic, the patient can feel isolated . ED is one of the reasons why most patients do not seek help. It is curable by medication or by a changing lifestyle. But this can only happen under proper guidance by medical professionals who know your full history.
What are the preventive measures for Erectile Dysfunction?
There are numerous steps people can take to prevent ED. Some of them include:
● Having regular medical checkups: Regularly visiting your doctor not only helps in maintaining good health but also lets you know about any underlying issue your body might have. ED is only known when the man is aroused and cannot achieve a full erection. Men can go weeks without sexual intercourse and can still be unaware of the ED.
● Stop smoking, drinking, or drug abuse: If you notice signs of ED, then the best-advised recommendation is to see a doctor and stop your intake of alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes. You must give your body a chance to heal from the damage you may have subjected it to.
● Exercise: A typical lifestyle pattern seen in patients with ED is the lack of exercise. Exercising is something that the body needs regularly. It helps regulate the blood flow and keeps all your veins, arteries, and muscles in good working condition.
● Reduce your stress levels: If you are experiencing ED while under massive stress levels, find ways to reduce your levels of stress and work on keeping them low.
● See a therapist: If you experience depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues, visiting a therapist is the best course of action. Not only can they provide you with proper medication to help combat what you are dealing with, but this will also help improve your ED situation.
What is the treatment for Erectile Dysfunction?
There are two ways to treat ED, either by surgery or by placing you on oral medicines. Some medicines may work in curing ED. If the drug does not work, then the last and final resort is surgery.
Oral medicines are a successful erectile dysfunction treatment for many men. They include:
Other medicines for erectile dysfunction include:
1. Alprostadil urethral suppository. In the Alprostadil (Muse) intraurethral therapy, a tiny alprostadil suppository is placed inside your penis in the penile urethra. A special applicator is used to insert the suppository into your penile urethra.
2. Alprostadil self-injection. In this method, a fine needle is used to inject alprostadil into the base or side of the penis. Each injection is dosed in such a way that it will create an erection that lasts for an hour. As the needle used for the injection is very fine, pain from the injection site is generally minor.
3. Testosterone replacement. Testosterone replacement therapy can be recommended as the first step or given in combination with other therapies.
4. Surgical intervention includes penile implantation. A non-surgical method is using a penis pump that is known as a vacuum erection device that helps pull blood to the penile region
5. Penis pumps. The penis pump, also called vacuum erection device, is a hollow tube with a battery-powered or hand-powered pump. This tube is placed over your penis. Then, the pump is used to suck out the air inside this tube. This action creates a vacuum that pulls blood into the penis. Once you get penis erection, a tension ring is slipped around the base of your penis to hold in the blood and also to keep it firm. Then, you remove the vacuum device.
Many men refuse to seek proper medical help as they feel embarrassed to talk about ED to their doctors. The stigma around the ED needs to be eliminated. It is nothing but an illness that can easily be cured if one seeks timely medical help.
1. Is there a difference between Erectile Dysfunction and impotence?
Many doctors state that Erectile Dysfunction is a treatable phase, while impotence is a more permanent state. Erectile Dysfunction, in the long run, does lead to impotence.
2. Are there any side effects of ED medication?
ED medication includes headaches, upset stomach, blurry vision, or vision discoloration. It is best to talk to your medical professional who prescribed the medication when these side effects are seen.
3. Is ED common in old age?
No, ED is not a result of aging or associated with aging. While most men who suffer from ED are 70 or above, it can happen to anyone. It is a fact that older men require more stimulation to achieve an erection than younger men.
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