Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is a common sexual issue in mem. It occurs when men cannot induce or sustain an erection throughout sexual intercourse. Psychological or physical conditions can cause erectile dysfunction. A doctor can easily treat it. However, erectile dysfunction can also signify other serious illnesses down the road.

Problems with keeping up an erection can occur from time to time, but having it consistently can lead to stress, lower self-confidence, and issues in one’s sexual relationships. It is self-diagnosable.

Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction

The main symptom that indicates Erectile Dysfunction is the incapability to induce an erection. However, some other indications are:

  • Cannot get an erection for sex
  • Cannot keep an erection during sex
  • Soft erection
  • Lower sexual desire
  • Losing erection after penetration

Apart from this, ED can be a symptom of various other diseases, such as heart and valve diseases.

What Factors Cause Erectile Dysfunction

Several factors can cause an ED problem in men. It can be because of other existing diseases. Often a person’s lifestyle choices can affect their sex life.

  • Lacking exercise
  • Smoking and using drugs
  • Certain medication
  • Sleep disorders
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Having cardiovascular diseases
  • High blood sugar
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity

A person’s sexual arousal depends upon several aspects, including emotional, physical, and mental conditions. Stress, depression, or emotional problems may lead to erectile dysfunction. Any already existing physical concerns can also lead to someone’s anxiety increasing and thereby leading to ED.

How Does an Erection Work?

An erection happens when a penis is enlarged and firm due to sexual arousal. For sexual intercourse, an erection should occur.

An erection usually happens when blood is flown in and held in the penis. When a man is sexually aroused due to mental and physical stimuli, the muscles in the penis expand, causing blood to come in. The pressure caused by this in-flow of blood leads to the penis developing and turning firm. A membrane in the penis helps keep this blood in the penis, thereby causing an erection.

When the muscles in the penis contract, blood will exit, and erection is reversed.

How Does ED Happen?

ED can happen due to various physical ailments.

  • Blood flow to the penis doesn’t happen.
  • Problems with nerve endings.
  • The penis can’t entrap the blood during erection hence losing it.
  • Nerve signals from the brain don’t flow to the penis.
  • Treatment of another disease like cancer.
  • Drug usage can lead to ED.
  • Nerve damage due to illness or an accident.

Diagnosis of Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is self-diagnosable. However, a physician can diagnose it by asking about your general health and worries. Questions about your sex life and heart issues will also come up. A physical examination might also happen.

An examination from the doctor will pose the following:

1. Questions on General Lifestyle and Health

The patient’s lifestyle, such as drinking, smoking, and any other existing illness, are all things a doctor should know. If the person is taking any medication currently, whether they have any current conditions such as diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol, or heart issues, the height, weight, and exercise are all relevant information.

2. Questions on Stress and Mental Health

Whether the person is currently dealing with any stress, mental health issues, or anxiety due to physical conditions are asked. Questions on the sex life of the patient and problems within the relationship are also inquired about.

3. Physical Examination

A physical examination consists of checking the penis and testicles and the prostate through a rectal exam. It also focuses on the patient’s heart and blood health.

4. Blood and Urine Tests

These tests are conducted to understand any underlying causes.

Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction

A physician may begin by suggesting changes to the patient’s lifestyle. Quitting smoking and drinking habits or providing alternatives to the medication a person is under. Maintaining your heart health also helps in curing ED.

Changing dietary habits, adopting a new exercise routine, and dealing with one’s mental health issues can also help.

The main treatments for ED are:

1. Oral Drugs

Oral pills such as Viagra, Levitra, Cialis, etc., are prescribed. Oral pills are supposed to be taken some time before sexual intercourse. Medications can have common side effects of headaches, indigestion, stuffy nose, and facial flushing. Only take oral pills after a discussion with your doctor.

2. Penile Injection

Penile injections are of two types; Intracavernosal Injection (ICI) and Urethral Therapy.

ICI is injected into the side of the penis. It can be self-injected by the patient after being taught by the doctor. Someone who is not helped by the pills can use ICI to get better results. The patient will get an erection after the injection.

Urethral therapy is when a tiny drug pellet is placed in the urethra. However, a penile injection may not work well like an ICI.

3. Vacuum Erection Devices

A vacuum erection device mimics an erection using a device with a pump attached. The plastic tube-like device is attached to the penis.

4. Testosterone Therapy

ED can happen when there is a lack of testosterone, which a blood test can find. Testosterone therapy helps cure this issue.

5. Penile Implants

Penile implants are done through surgery and carry risks. But there is a high succession rate for many ED patients. There are mainly two implants; Semi Rigid Implant and Inflatable Implant.

A semi-rigid implant is a bendable rod made of silicone inserted inside the penis. It’ll give the firmness needed for sexual penetration.

The inflatable implant is a fluid-filled tube with a pump. It can give spontaneous erections and is a more natural feeling.

6. Other Treatments

Surgery for penile artery damage and Intraurethral medication are also used to treat ED.

Side effects may vary in individuals. Besides, most treatments for Erectile Dysfunction are safe. Patients should converse with the doctor and inquire about any side effects.

How to Prevent Erectile Dysfunction

  • By maintaining a proper healthful lifestyle and a nourishing diet.
  • Quitting smoking and drinking.
  • Adopting regular exercise & meditation to improve physical and mental well-being.
  • Always have regular checkups with a cardiologist and urologist.
  • If any mental health issues persist, visit a psychiatrist.
  • Managing existing health conditions, such as blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol, under a doctor’s observation.

Final Thoughts

Erectile dysfunction is a common problem in the sex life of many men. Facing an ED problem is not a thing to worry about because several treatments are there to cure it. However, it can be a warning sign to any other diseases, so ensure adequate treatment and eliminate any cause for concern. Managing one’s life healthily can decrease the chance of getting an ED.

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