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Erectile Dysfunction

erectile-dysfunction

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By Medicover Hospitals / 17 Feb 2021
Home | symptoms | erectile-dysfunction
  • Occurs when a man cannot achieve or maintain an erection that is firm enough for intercourse. Erectile dysfunction might be a sign of a physical or psychological condition. Stress, strain in relationships, and low self-confidence can cause erectile dysfunction. The major sign is a man's inability to achieve or maintain an erection that is firm enough for intercourse.
  • Article Context:

    1. What Is Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?
    2. Causes
    3. Diagnosis
    4. Treatment
    5. When to visit a Doctor?
    6. Home Remedies
    7. FAQ's

    What Is Erectile Dysfunction (ED)?

    • Erectile dysfunction (ED) is failing to get and maintain an erection that is firm enough for sexual intercourse. Estimates suggest that one in 10 men will suffer from erectile dysfunction in their lifetime. It's important to understand that in most cases, erectile dysfunction is a symptom of another underlying problem. Erectile dysfunction is not considered normal at any age and can associate with other problems that interfere with sex, such as lack of desire and problems with orgasm and ejaculation.
    • About one in 10 adult men will suffer from long-term erectile dysfunction.
    • Many men sometimes experience erection problems, which can occur for a variety of reasons, such as heavy drinking, stress, relationship issues, or extreme fatigue.
    • Not having an erection less than 20% of the time is not unusual and rarely requires treatment. However, not getting an erection over 50% of the time means there is a problem, and treatment is needed.
    • ED doesn't have to be part of aging. Although some older men need more stimulation, they should still be able to get an erection and enjoy sex.

    Causes:

    • Male sexual arousal is a complex process that involves the brain, hormones, emotions, nerves, muscles, and blood vessels. Erectile dysfunction can result from a problem with any of these. Likewise, stress and mental health concerns can cause or worsen erectile dysfunction.
    • Sometimes a combination of physical and psychological issues causes erectile dysfunction. For instance, a minor physical condition that slows your sexual response might cause anxiety about maintaining an erection. The resulting anxiety can lead to or worsen erectile dysfunction.

    Physical Causes Of Erectile Dysfunction:

  • Erectile dysfunction (ED) is caused by something physical. Common causes include:
    • Heart disease
    • Atherosclerosis
    • High cholesterol
    • High blood pressure
    • Diabetes
    • Obesity
    • Metabolic syndrome
    • Parkinson's disease
    • Multiple sclerosis
    • Certain prescription medications
    • Tobacco use
    • Peyronie's disease
    • Alcoholism and other forms of substance abuse
    • Sleep disorders
    • Treatments for prostate cancer or enlarged prostate
    • Surgeries or injuries that affect the pelvic area or spinal cord
    • Low testosterone

    Psychological Causes Of Erectile Dysfunction:

  • The brain plays a key role in triggering the series of physical events that cause an erection, starting with feelings of sexual arousal. Several factors can interfere with sexual feelings and cause or worsen erectile dysfunction. These include:
    • Depression, anxiety, or other mental health conditions
    • Stress
    • Relationship problems due to stress, poor communication, or other concerns

    Diagnosis:

    • Examination of health and sexual history: This may reveal conditions that lead to erectile dysfunction. It can also help your healthcare professional tell the difference between problems with erection, ejaculation, orgasm, or sexual desire.
    • Physical exam: To look for an underlying problem, such as:
      • A problem in the nervous system: This can involve if your penis does not respond as expected to certain contacts.
      • Secondary Sexual Characteristics: Items such as hair configuration can indicate hormonal issues, which involve the endocrine system.
      • Abnormal characteristics of the penis itself: These could suggest the cause of erectile dysfunction.
    • Lab tests: These may include blood counts, urine tests, cholesterol tests, and measurements of creatinine and liver enzymes. When low sexual desire is a symptom, checking for testosterone in the blood can reveal problems with the endocrine system.
    • Penile ultrasound: It is used to measure the blood flow in the penis.
    • Psychosocial Examination: This is done to help find psychological factors that can affect your performance. Your sexual partner can also be questioned.

    Treatment:

  • Treatment for erectile dysfunction will depend on the underlying cause. You may need to use a combination of treatments, including medications or talk therapy.
  • Drugs:

    • Your doctor may prescribe medications to help you manage the symptoms of erectile dysfunction. You may need to try several medications before you find one that works. The following oral medications stimulate blood flow to your penis to help treat erectile dysfunction:
      • avanafil (Stendra)
      • sildenafil (Viagra)
      • tadalafil (Cialis)
      • vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn)
    • Alprostadil (Caverject, Edex, MUSE) is another medicine that can treat erectile dysfunction. It can be administered in two ways: as a penile suppository or as a self-injection at the base or side of the penis.
    • Testosterone therapy (TRT) may also recommend it if you have low levels of testosterone.
    • Medicines used for other conditions can cause erectile dysfunction. Talk to your doctor about your medications and if they might cause your symptoms. There may be others you can take instead. Never stop taking your medicine without talking to your doctor first.
    • Medicines for erectile dysfunction can cause side effects. If you experience any unpleasant side effects, talk to your doctor. They may recommend a different medication. Learn more about the drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction.

    Talk therapy:

    • Several psychological factors can cause erectile dysfunction, including:
      • stress
      • anxiety
      • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
      • depression
    • If you have psychological erectile dysfunction, you may benefit from talk therapy. Over several sessions, you will discuss with your therapist:
      • major stress or anxiety factors
      • your feelings about sex
      • subconscious conflicts that could affect your sexual well-being
    • If erectile dysfunction is affecting your relationship, consider speaking to a relationship counselor as well. Relationship counseling can help you and your partner reconnect emotionally, which can also help your ED. Explore the effects of stress and anxiety on erectile dysfunction.

    Vacuum pumps:

    • This treatment uses the creation of a vacuum to stimulate an erection. Blood is drawn into the penis when the device is in use, resulting in an erection.
    • A vacuum pump device comprises a few different components:
      • a plastic tube that you place over your penis
      • a pump that works to create a vacuum by sucking the air out of the plastic tube
      • an elastic ring which you will move around the base of your penis when you remove the plastic tube
    • The elastic ring is used to maintain the erection, to retain blood in the penis, and to prevent it from returning to circulation. It can be left in place for 30 minutes.

    When to visit a Doctor?

  • A family doctor is a good place to start when you have erection problems. See your doctor if:
    • You have concerns about your erections or have other sexual problems such as premature or delayed ejaculation
    • You have diabetes, heart disease, or another known health problem that may be related to erectile dysfunction
    • You have other symptoms with erectile dysfunction

    Home Remedies:

    • Start walking: According to a Harvard study, just 30 minutes of walking per day was associated with a 41% lower risk of erectile dysfunction. Other research suggests that moderate exercise may help restore sexual performance in obese middle-aged men with erectile dysfunction.
    • Eat Well: In the Massachusetts study of aging men, eating a diet high in natural foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fish - with less red and processed meat and refined grains - reduced the risk of erectile dysfunction.
    • Pay attention to your vascular health: High blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and high triglycerides can all damage the arteries in the heart (causing a heart attack), brain (causing a stroke), and leading to the penis. (causing erectile dysfunction)). An expanding waistline also helps. Check with your doctor to see if your vascular system - and therefore your heart, brain, and penis - is in good shape or needs tune-up with lifestyle changes and, if necessary, medication.
    • Size matters, so be fit and stay fit: Losing weight can help fight erectile dysfunction, so achieving a healthy weight and staying there is another good strategy for preventing or repairing erectile dysfunction. Obesity increases the risk of vascular disease and diabetes, two major causes of erectile dysfunction. And excess fat interferes with several hormones which can also be part of the problem.
    • Move a muscle, but we're not talking about your biceps: a strong pelvic floor improves stiffness during erections and helps keep blood from coming out of the penis by pressing on a key vein. In a UK trial, three months of twice-daily Kegel exercises (which strengthen these muscles), combined with biofeedback and advice on lifestyle changes - quitting smoking, losing weight, limiting exercise alcohol - worked much better than just advice on lifestyle changes.

    Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Yes, erectile dysfunction can be reversed. A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found a remission rate of 29% after 5 years. It is important to note that even when erectile dysfunction cannot be cured, the right treatment can reduce or eliminate symptoms.
  • Watermelon, papayas, and bananas: Enriched with potassium, watermelons, papayas, and bananas help to thin the blood circulation by dilating the arterioles. This in turn contributes to a better erection.
  • The most common sexual problem for men as they age is erectile dysfunction (ED). In general, the younger a man, the better his sexual function. About 40% of men are affected by erectile dysfunction by the age of 40, and almost 70% of men have erectile dysfunction by the time they reach 70 years of age.
  • Kegels are one of the most common and beneficial erectile dysfunction exercises. To fight the effects of erectile dysfunction, you need to strengthen the muscles in your pelvic floor. Kegels, when practiced correctly, is the perfect way to achieve this! In men, Kegels target and strengthen the bulbocavernosus muscle.
  • Citations:

  • Erectile Dysfunction - https://www.nature.com/articles/nrdp20163
  • Erectile dysfunction - https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0140673612605200
  • Erectile Dysfunction - https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM200006153422407