Everything You Must Know about Erectile Dysfunction and Its Treatment

Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction, also known as impotence, is a man’s inability to have and hold an erection after having sexual intercourse. This health condition is encountered by nearly 30 million men around the globe, and it can be a warning sign of serious illnesses like cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately, it is still a taboo and most men dealing with erectile dysfunction hesitate to accept it and receive treatment. So, this article intends to share all the necessary information on erectile dysfunction.

Erectile Dysfunction: Definition

During the sexual union between a man and a woman, chemicals are released by the brain to stimulate more blood flow into the man’s penis and that’s what keeps it firm. But if the penis is limp and soft even when a person is aroused and in the middle of coitus, it is called erectile dysfunction.

Erectile dysfunction, abbreviated as ED, is a kind of penile disorder and millions of men suffer from this condition.  It affects the ability of a person to maintain a firm erection while having sexual intercourse and as a man ages, his ability to perform in bed keeps decreasing gradually. While this is completely normal, having ED when you are young means something is wrong, and you should go for a check-up. Luckily, it is not that difficult to treat erectile dysfunction and better erectile function if the cause of ED can be detected.

Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction

The common symptoms of erectile dysfunction include:

  • Reduced sexual urges
  • Trouble getting an erection
  • Trouble maintaining an erection
  • Requiring too much stimulation to keep the penis up

Other than the above-mentioned bodily symptoms, ED has some psychological side effects:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Distress
  • Depression

Erectile Dysfunction Causes

As ED can be linked to prostate cancer and heart attacks, anyone with erectile dysfunction should understand the underlying cause and go to an ED specialist. The following have been identified by doctors as the physical causes of erectile dysfunction:

  • High BP
  • Atherosclerosis (clogging of blood vessels)
  • Diabetes
  • High levels of cholesterol
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Obesity
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Some prescription medications
  • Use of tobacco
  • Metabolic syndrome — a medical condition that involves high levels of insulin, increased BP, high cholesterol, and accumulation of body fat around a person’s waist
  • Sleep disorders
  • Low levels of testosterone
  • Alcoholism/ substance abuse
  • Receiving treatments for enlarged prostate or prostate cancer
  • Scar tissue development inside the penis — a condition known as Peyronie’s disease
  • Injuries or operations that may have affected the spinal cord or pelvic area

Erectile Dysfunction Emotional Causes

For sex to be pleasurable, the body and mind must work in harmony. Studies have revealed that many men have erection problems for brief/ prolonged periods when they are emotionally unstable. Some emotional issues that can cause ED are:

  • Relationship conflicts
  • Work stress
  • Depression
  • Financial burdens
  • Anxiety
  • Going through a major personal crisis
  • Stress due to social, religious, or cultural conflicts
  • Worrying about performance in bed

So, if you are suddenly having issues maintaining your erection, could there be some emotional cause of ED in your case?

ED Risk Factors

It is natural to wonder which people have more risk of erectile dysfunction. The following risk factors may contribute to ED:

  • Being 40 years old or older
  • Having heart ailments or diabetes
  • Smoking regularly
  • Having a BMI (Body Mass Index) exceeding 25
  • Clinical depression
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Being a heavy drinker
  • Obesity

How Do Doctors Diagnose Erectile Dysfunction?

Your healthcare provider will ask several questions regarding your lifestyle and health history. You must remain truthful about the drugs you consume or if you drink alcohol/ smoke regularly. They would also like to know about any stressors that may cause ED.

These are the usual questions your doctor will ask:

  • What supplements, over-the-counter drugs, and prescription drugs have you taken recently?
  • How frequently do you drink alcohol?
  • Do you take recreational drugs?
  • Are you a smoker?
  • Do you suffer from urinary problems?
  • Did you ever have surgery radiation therapy or surgery in the pelvic region?
  • Do you have any illnesses (untreated or treated)?

Speak openly with your urologist so that they can suggest the best ED treatment options.

Doctors also perform blood tests and urine tests to diagnose ED. For instance, Nocturnal penile tumescence is an overnight test that checks one’s erection during sleep. In rare cases of cancer and trauma, pelvic X-rays such as arteriography, CT scanning, or MRI scanning are needed to check the severity of ED before commencing the treatment of erectile dysfunction.

Erectile Dysfunction Treatment

If ED has become a bothersome problem and is affecting your emotional well-being and your conjugal life, visit an ED specialist to restore ED function.

In some situations, curing an underlying condition is the simplest kind of erection treatment. So, when it comes to treating ED, non-invasive treatment is the first preference. Treatment for erectile dysfunction can also be done through medications. These are the common treatments:

  • Penile implants have a great success rate.
  • Oral pills/ drugs (phosphodiesterase type-5 inhibitors, to be specific) are often given in the United States and other countries for fixing ED. These include Viagra, Stendra, Cialis, and Levitra.
  • If the blood tests reveal that low levels of testosterone are responsible for causing erectile dysfunction, testosterone therapy is the best ED treatment.
  • Penile Injections can also be effective.
  • Vacuum Erection Devices are among the newest treatments.
  • Administering intraurethral medication is another alternative treatment.

ED treatment is generally considered safe, but you should still ask your doctor about the possible side effects. For instance, treating ED in older men through penile vascular surgery or some other surgery can be critical.

Tips to Improve Erectile Function

  • Do cardiovascular exercises daily.
  • Bid adieu to smoking.
  • Talk to a sex therapist.
  • Manage chronic health conditions.
  • Refrain from using illegal drugs.
  • Address your relationship problems and mental health issues.
  • Some men say that using vacuum pumps helps them immensely.

The Takeaway

We may conclude by saying that male sexual dysfunction can be stressful. But you should not allow ED to affect your quality of life and mental peace. Instead of feeling shy, patients with erectile dysfunction should opt for ED treatment near me to commence the treatment for ED at the earliest. Additionally, you should eat a balanced diet, quit smoking and drinking, exercise regularly, and stay happy to improve erectile disorder.