Erectile Dysfunction: Symptoms, Causes, Treatments and Preventions

What is Erectile Dysfunction?

The inability to get and maintain a hard adequate erection for intercourse is referred to as erectile dysfunction (impotence).

Erection problems aren’t always a cause for alarm. However, if erectile dysfunction is a long-term condition, it can lead to stress, low self-esteem, and interpersonal issues.

Problems achieving or maintaining an erection might be an indication of a more serious underlying health condition, as well as a risk factor for heart disease.

Even if you’re ashamed, consult your doctor if you’re concerned about erectile dysfunction.

Erectile dysfunction can sometimes be reversed simply by treating the underlying cause.

In some circumstances, drugs or other harmful substances are the cause of the problem.

Impotence

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Erectile dysfunction?

Symptoms of erectile dysfunction could include:

  • Having difficulty getting an erection
  • Having trouble maintaining an erection
  • Sexual desire is lessened.

What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?

The brain, hormones, emotions, nerves, muscles, and blood vessels all play a role in male sexual desire. An issue with any of these can cause erectile dysfunction.

Erectile dysfunction can also be caused or worsened by stress and mental health issues.

Erectile dysfunction can be caused by a mix of physical and psychological factors. Anxiety about sustaining an erection, for example, may be caused by a minor physical problem that slows your sexual response. Erectile dysfunction can be caused or worsened by the worry that results.

Physical Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction can be caused by a variety of physical factors among the most common causes are:

  • Heart disease
  • Vascular occlusion (atherosclerosis)
  • Cholesterol levels are high.
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Symptoms of metabolic syndrome such as Increased blood pressure, high insulin levels, abdominal obesity, and high cholesterol.
  • Parkinson’s disease: a neurological condition that affects millions of people
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Certain Prescription drugs such as Amitriptyline (Elavil), Amoxapine (Asendin), Buspirone (Buspar)
    Chlordiazepoxide (Librium), Chlorpromazine (Thorazine), Clomipramine (Anafranil), Clorazepate (Tranxene), Desipramine (Norpramin)
  • Smoking
  • Peyronie’s disease which is characterized by the formation of scar tissue within the male penis.
  • Substance abuse, including alcoholism, is a serious problem.
  • Difficulty Sleeping
  • Prostate cancer and prostate enlargement treatments
  • Surgical procedures or damage to the pelvis or spinal cord
  • Testosterone deficiency

Psychological causes of Erectile Dysfunction

Starting with sensations of sexual excitement, the brain plays a major role in triggering the cascade of physical processes that lead to an erection.

Erectile dysfunction can be caused or worsened by a variety of factors that interfere with sexual sensations. These are some of them:

  • Anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues
  • Relationship issues caused by stress, poor communication, or other issues

Factors that Increase Your Risk

Erections may take longer to grow and are less solid as you become older. To achieve and maintain an erection, you may require more direct contact with your penis.

Erectile dysfunction can be caused by a number of reasons, including:

  • Some medical disorders such as Diabetes and heart disease
  • Tobacco smoking, which restricts blood flow to veins and arteries, can lead to chronic health problems, including erectile dysfunction, over time.
  • Being overweight, especially if you’re obese, is a serious problem.
  • Certain medical procedures, such as prostate surgery or cancer radiation therapy
  • Injury to the nerves or arteries that control erections, especially if they are damaged.
  • Medications for high blood pressure, pain, and prostate disorders, such as antidepressants, antihistamines, and antihypertensives.
  • Psychological conditions such as Stress, anxiety, and sadness
  • Drug and alcohol abuse, particularly if you’ve been abusing drugs for a long time or are a heavy drinker

Diagnosis of Erectile Dysfunction

For many patients, a doctor can diagnose erectile dysfunction and propose treatment based on a physical exam and medical history of ED.

If you have a chronic health problem or your doctor feels an underlying issue is at play, you may require additional tests or a specialist visit.

The following tests may be used to look for underlying problems:

1. Physical Examination of the body: This may entail a thorough examination of your penis and testicles, as well as a sensory check of your nerves.

2. Examinations of the blood: A sample of your blood may be sent to a lab for testing to look for indicators of heart disease, diabetes, low testosterone levels, and other health problems.

3. Tests on urine (urinalysis): Urine tests, like blood testing, are used to check for indicators of diabetes and other underlying medical problems.

4. Ultrasound: A professional at an office will normally perform this test. A wand-like device (transducer) is held over the blood arteries supplying the penis. It generates a video image that your doctor can use to determine if you have bloating.

Treatment of ED

The first thing your doctor will do is make sure you’re getting the correct therapy for any health problems that may be causing or exacerbating your erectile dysfunction.

Various therapy methods may be available depending on the cause and degree of your erectile dysfunction, as well as any underlying health concerns.

Your doctor will discuss the risks and advantages of each treatment with you and take into account your preferences. Your partner’s tastes may also influence your treatment decisions.

Oral Medications

For many men, erectile dysfunction medications are an effective treatment for erectile dysfunction. These are some of them:

  • Sildenafil
  • Tadalafil
  • Vardenafil
  • Avanafil

All four Erectile dysfunction drugs work by increasing the effects of nitric oxide, a natural substance produced by your body that relaxes the muscles in your penis. This improves blood flow and allows you to develop an erection when sexual stimulation is applied.

An erection is not guaranteed by taking one of these medications. To get your penile nerves to release nitric oxide, you’ll need to stimulate them sexually first.

Some persons can have normal penile function because of these drugs, which increase that signal. Oral erectile dysfunction drugs are not aphrodisiacs, do not promote excitement, and are unnecessary in persons who have regular erections.

The dosage, duration of action, and side effects of the drugs differ. Flushing, nasal congestion, headache, vision disturbances, backache, and stomach discomfort are all possible adverse effects.

Your doctor will evaluate your specific situation to determine which drug will be most effective. These drugs may not be able to cure your erectile dysfunction right away.

You may need to consult with your physician to determine the best prescription and dosage for you.

Get your doctor’s approval before taking any erectile dysfunction prescription, including over-the-counter vitamins and herbal therapies.

Erectile dysfunction medications do not work for everyone, and they may be less successful in some circumstances, such as following prostate surgery or if you have diabetes.

Some drugs could be harmful if you:

I. Take nitrate medications, such as nitroglycerin (Nitro-Dur, Nitrostat, and others), isosorbide mononitrate (Monoket), and isosorbide dinitrate (Monoket) (Dilatrate-SR, Isordil, Bidil)

II. Have you been diagnosed with heart disease or heart failure

III. Have a low blood pressure level (hypotension)

Other Treatment Measures

Testosterone Replacement Therapy

Testosterone is a hormone that is used to replace testosterone. Some men suffer from erectile dysfunction, which can be exacerbated by low testosterone levels.

In this scenario, testosterone replacement therapy may be suggested as a first step or in conjunction with other treatments.

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Penis pumps, surgery, and implants are all options

A penis pump that runs on batteries
For erectile dysfunction, a battery-operated penile pump is available.

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If drugs aren’t working or aren’t suited for you, your doctor may suggest a different treatment.

Other options for treatment include:

Pumps for the penis: A penis pump (vacuum erection device) is a hollow tube with a pump that can be operated by hand or battery.

The tube is put over your penis, and the air inside the tube is sucked out using the pump. A vacuum is created, which draws blood into your penis.

You slide a tension ring around the base of your penis once you’ve achieved an erection to keep the blood in and keep it tight. The vacuum device is then removed.

Typically, the erection lasts long enough for a couple to have intercourse. After intercourse, you remove the tension ring.

Ejaculation will be inhibited by the band, and bruising of the penis is a probable adverse effect. It’s possible that your penis is frigid to the touch.

Your doctor may propose or prescribe a specific model if a penile pump is an appropriate therapy option for you.

That way, you can be sure it meets your requirements and is manufactured by a reliable company.

Implants in the sperm: Devices are surgically implanted into both sides of the penis in this procedure. Inflatable or malleable (bendable) rods are used in these implants.

You can choose when and how long you have an inflatable gadget. Your penis will be solid but pliable thanks to the malleable rods.

Penile implants are rarely indicated before other options have been exhausted. Those who have tried and failed more conservative therapy report a high level of satisfaction with implants.

Complications, such as infection, are a possibility with any surgery. If you have a urinary tract infection, penile implant surgery is not suggested.

Exercise

Exercise, particularly moderate to vigorous aerobic activity, has been shown in recent research to help with erectile dysfunction.

Regular exercise, which is less demanding, may help to lower the risk of erectile dysfunction. Increasing your level of activity may help you minimize your risk even more.

Consult your doctor about an exercise regimen.

Psychological help is available

Your doctor may recommend that you, or you and your spouse, see a psychologist or counselor if your erectile dysfunction is caused by stress, anxiety, or depression, or if the condition is causing stress and relationship conflict.

Home remedies and a healthy lifestyle

Erectile dysfunction is caused or worsened by lifestyle decisions for many people.

Here are some suggestions to get you started:

1. Quit smoking if you’re a smoker: If you’re having problems stopping, seek assistance. Attempt nicotine replacement, such as over-the-counter gum or lozenges, or speak with your doctor about a prescription drug that can assist you in quitting.

2. Get rid of the extra pounds: Erectile dysfunction can be caused — or worsened — by being overweight. Physical activity should be a part of your daily routine.

Exercise can help with underlying issues that contribute to erectile dysfunction in a variety of ways, including stress reduction, weight loss, and improved blood flow.

3. Get help if you’re having trouble with alcohol or drugs: Drinking excessively or abusing certain illegal drugs can exacerbate erectile dysfunction, either directly or indirectly, by producing long-term health issues.

4. Work on your relationship problems: If you’re having issues strengthening communication with your partner or working through challenges on your own, consider couples counseling.

Complications

Erectile dysfunction can cause a variety of complications, including:

  • A sex life that isn’t up to par
  • Anxiety or stress
  • Embarrassment or a low sense of self-worth
  • Problems in relationships
  • Inability to conceive with your partner

 

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