Erectile dysfunction, which is also referred to as ED, is a health condition that can make men incapable of getting or achieving an erection strong enough in order to engage in sexual activity.
A man’s erectile dysfunction may have both short- and long-term effects. Erectile dysfunction may be identified if you:
- You occasionally have an erection, but you are unable to maintain its firmness.
- Are able to have an erection, but it is insufficient to procure and provide satisfying intercourse.
- Are mostly incapable of having an erection when you want to.
General practitioners and urologists can also treat erectile dysfunction. Age is not a factor in the emergence of erectile dysfunction, despite the fact that it is a prevalent medical problem. In fact, erectile dysfunction may be a sign of many other health issues.
In order to get an erection, there is a whole ongoing process, which involves different parts and organs of the body. Until the visible effect of erection, nerve endings have to release chemicals that are needed to increase blood flow to the genital organ. The penis has two chambers which blood flows into. These chambers are made of spongy muscle tissue.
The spongy tissues do not contract as the penis erects because they are relaxed, and they instead create blood traps. During an erection, the penis becomes stiff due to the blood pressure from these chambers. Moreover, during orgasm, men have a second set of nerves that are responsible for both the penis’ muscular contractions and the flow of blood back to the body, in order to finish the erection.
Furthermore, it is a natural reflex for the size of the male genital organ to change in response to exposure to cold or heat. This means that in some moments, the penis receives more blood than in others, based on exposure to coldness or warmth.
The main symptom of ED, which is also the most bothersome one, is that the sexual functionality of the genital organ is considerably altered.
The effects of erectile dysfunction are reflected in the man’s daily life. These could powerfully affect the man’s daily activities and alter his motivation. Therefore, if you are experiencing erectile dysfunction, you might start to have lower self-esteem, as you might consider yourself incapable of having a normal life.
After the self-esteem bar gets lower, there is another problem that men suffering from erectile dysfunction normally experience. Depression. Though depression and erectile dysfunction can work both ways, meaning that erectile dysfunction can cause depression and depression could also be a cause for erectile dysfunction, depression can seriously alter life quality. Therefore, life quality is affected beyond sexuality as it could also alter social life and work.
Moreover, due to the feeling of inability in sexual life, there might appear tensions and distress. This could lead to a serious relationships or even marriage problems.
When the inability of getting an erection happens frequently, either the general practitioner or the urologist can help you improve the situation.
There are many causes of erectile dysfunction. The most important and serious cause of erectile dysfunction could be related to heart conditions. Heart problems that could lead to erectile dysfunction could be high blood pressure or other cardiovascular conditions. Multiple studies show that men that suffer from erectile dysfunction are at high risk of getting a stroke, heart attack or even blood circulation problems in the legs. Also, erectile dysfunction can be related to emotional issues.
Other common causes for erectile dysfunction are related to age and unhealthy lifestyles. The men whose daily routine includes smoking and use of alcohol and drugs could be heavily affected by ED, as well as those men that are overweight and avoid exercising.
Moreover, diabetes and erectile dysfunction have a close relationship., as diabetes can also be an important factor in the incidence of erectile dysfunction. Almost 75% of men who suffer from diabetes are also affected by erectile dysfunction, due to damaged peripheral blood vessels and nerves caused by poor blood sugar control.
The main diseases that can cause erectile dysfunction are:
- Chronic kidney disease;
- Heart disease;
- High blood pressure (hypertension);
- High cholesterol;
- Low testosterone;
- Metabolic syndrome;
- Multiple sclerosis (MS);
- Parkinson’s disease;
- Peyronie’s disease;
- Sleep disorders
Physical Causes & Psychological Causes
The physical causes of erectile dysfunction are mostly due to heart problems. In order to keep the erection, the penis needs to trap more blood. The more blood the penis traps, the stronger the erection is. Therefore, erection is strongly tied to blood flow, which can be altered by heart conditions, hardened arteries, smoking, or high blood sugar. Also, the lack of nerve signals to reach the penis may be the cause of erectile dysfunction. The penis’ nerves can be also altered on account of injury or surgery in the pelvic area, cancer treatments or radiation. Cancer treatment, radiation and other surgeries can affect the nerves of the penis, even if they were performed in upper parts of the body, such as the abdomen. Moreover, an external factor of erectile dysfunction is represented by drugs. Therefore, it is very important to talk to a specialist before intake of any medicine.
Emotional causes of erectile dysfunction could also be many, and they could differ from person to person, but there are many causes in common among men that are experiencing erectile dysfunction.
Erectile dysfunction psychological problems are depression, anxiety, stress at work or stress at home, conflictual relationships, stress or fear from social, cultural or religious conflicts, or even low self-esteem, Consequently, erectile dysfunction is more common in people who are concerned about their sex performance.
Treating erectile dysfunction normally starts by improving the heart and vascular health. Moreover, if you start the erectile dysfunction treatment, you must adopt new and healthier food habits, stop smoking, drinking and the use of drugs and start working out as often as possible.
The doctor might suggest treating emotional problems as well. These emotional problems, such as depression, anxiety or other life stressors, could strongly influence erectile dysfunction.
The doctor will initially try one of the most well-known non-invasive treatments on you. These treatments are well-known for being secure and efficient. You must be completely aware of any potential adverse effects before beginning the treatment. The most effective erectile dysfunction treatments are:
- Medicines, such as phosphodiesterase, type-5 inhibitors that are for oral intake or PDE5 inhibitors, such as Viagra, Levitra, Cialis or Stendra, that are also for oral intake and increase the blood flow and which represent the most known erectile dysfunction medication.
- Testosterone Therapy;
- Penile Injections;
- Intraurethral medication;
- Vacuum Erection Devices;
- Penile Implants.