Erectile Dysfunction: Causes, Solutions and Prevention
Erectile dysfunction goes by other names like impotence or ED. It is simply the inability to get erected or keep an erection to begin or during sexual intercourse.
It is estimated that millions of men all the world experience this every year. Especially those above the age of 40.
Having issues with getting or maintaining an erection for sexual intimacy is not always considered a serious problem. Nearly every man experiences this every now and then.
However if it has become a major cause of concern to you as it affects your self-confidence, relationship with your partner and your sex life in general, then it may be pointing to an underlying medical challenge that needs the attention of a doctor as soon as possible.
In many cases, merely talking with a doctor about it can be all that is needed to identify the cause of the ED. In the other cases, the doctor may have to run some tests to determine the exact cause of the sexual challenge.
How do I know what I’m having is erectile dysfunction or when to consult a doctor about it? You wonder.
I will tell you in a moment. But before that, let’s talk about the common causes of ED.
What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction has many known causes which are grouped into two categories: physical causes and psychological causes.
We will look at these causes in details, beginning with the later which is psychological causes.
- Psychological Causes Of Erectile Dysfunction
In many occasions, erectile dysfunction is caused by a psychological issue. This is because the male sexual arousal involves the brain, emotions, etc. Since the brain triggers the feelings of sexual urge and other things that follow it, whatever affects this in anyway can either affect the desire for sex or lead to erectile dysfunction.
Some of those things that can affect the brain, emotions etc, and lead to erectile dysfunction includes:
- Stress. This can be any type of stress at all but especially mental stress.
- Anxiety, depression or any other medical condition that has to do with your mental health.
- Post traumatic stress disorder (PSTD)
- Relationship challenges as a result of lack of proper communication between partners, etc.
Apart from these above listed causes, there are other things which can lead to erectile dysfunction. Many of them are physical. You will find below.
- Physical Causes Of ED
Sometimes ED can be caused by non-psychological factors. Some of these physical factors that can lead to it are:
- Increase in age. The older we get, the more difficult it is for some men to get or maintain an erection.
- Cardiovascular disease
- Damage or injuries arising from surgery, accident or anything that affects the male sex organs.
- Certain medications e.g. medications for depression i.e anti-depressants and so on.
- Drug Abuse
These are the common physical causes of ED in most men. If you are currently bothered about having it, check out the symptoms highlighted below and see if the signs you are having are pointing to it.
Erectile Dysfunction Symptoms
The symptoms of erectile dysfunction includes:
- Inability to get an erection regardless of all attempt.
- Persistent trouble maintaining an erection.
- Reduced or no interest in sex
Other sexual problems that are related to it includes
- Inability to reach orgasm after enough stimulation
- Quick ejaculation
- Delayed ejaculation etc
The moment any of these signs or symptoms have become a regular thing that happens to you, you should find your way to a doctor’s office. While sex is usually a problem most people feel embarrassing talking about especially issues like ED, you should not let that stop you from seeing a doctor as soon as you can.
Below is how the diagnosis works.
At the doctor’s office, you will be asked some series of questions about your sexual life by the doctor to help him determine the root cause of your erectile problems. If the need arises, a physical examination may also take place. This may involve your doctor examining your sexual organs: the penis, testicles etc. The doctor may also conduct some tests using your urine or blood sample. He may also check your heart and lungs to see if the problem is from there.
The doctor may also require you to undergo an NPT test. This is usually a kind of test that is done using a small device you will wear on your thigh while you sleep to help monitor and record your nocturnal erections.
Every healthy male normally experiences a series of erections while he sleeps, it is a very normal part of the human life. It is these erections that occur while you sleep that the small, battery powered device records. The doctor will use the information in determining the underlying cause of the erectile dysfunction.
The Role Of Age In ED
As men gets older, the chances of them having erectile dysfunction increase. It doesn’t mean every man who is advanced in age must experience it. But age does play a role in causing it. For instance, ED is commonly reported in about 22 percent of men within the age of 60 to 70 years, it is also reported in about 30 percent of men above the age of 70 years. Only 12 percent of men younger than 60 years have been reported to suffer from it.
Looking at the above statistics, it is clear to see how erectile dysfunction can be traced to age. However, getting older does not mean one must have erectile dysfunction as a problem.
Depending on the cause of the ED from the tests results, your doctor may prescribe some kind of medications for the treatment. Usually, there are several types of treatments that can take care of ED. Some of them are found below.
- Talk Therapy
This is mostly done when the causes of ED are psychologically related. The therapy can be of a great help to you in helping you learn how to manage your feelings of anxiety, depression, stress and other things that may be affecting your sexual health.
The talk therapy may involve you talking to a relationship expert. That can help open up lots of things that may be affecting your relationship with your partner and help sort it out.
If the cause of ED is traced to a physical medical condition like Diabetes, Hypertension, Cardiovascular disease or even an increase in age, your doctor may likely prescribe some medications. What some of these medications do is to increase the blood flow to the arteries of your penis.
The medications may involve any or some of these below:
- Sidenafil (Viagra)
- Alprostadil (Caverject)
- Tadalafil (Cialis)
- Vardenafil (Levitra)
- Avanafil (Stendra)
- Kegel Exercise
Kegel exercise are exercise done to improve penile function by strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. Kegel exercise has been known to help many men who were struggling with erection problems, regain complete control of their erectile function.
The exercises are very simple to do and can be done numerous times in a day regardless of when or where you are. You can look up some videos of kegel exercise on Youtube to learn how to do it. You can also read some articles that will serve as a guide for you to do them.
- Supplements And Herbal Treatments
Herbal treatments are known to be helpful in the treatment of ED. Same goes for supplements. Though this is true, you are required to speak to your doctor and get his opinion before you decide on using a particular herb or supplement.
Some of the herbs and supplements that are known to help in the treatment of ED includes: Ginseng, Asparagus racemosus, yohimbe etc.
While choosing a particular herb or supplement, you would have to be very careful to avoid going with a product may later turn out to be harmful to you. This is the reason it is important you speak with your doctor first before using a particular herbal product or supplement.
How To Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
Though erectile dysfunction as a result of age may be inevitable for some people above 70years, it can be prevented especially at a much younger age.
The following are things you can do to help you prevent or reverse it.
- Refrain from smoking and alcohol. Even consuming these in low quantities can still have some effects on your overall health.
- Eat healthy meals regularly. Avoid junk foods as much as you can.
- Regularly exercise your body. Practice kegel exercise frequently.
- Manage your stress and anxiety properly.
- Watch your weight and as well your blood pressure.
The moment you start doing these things, you are on your way to victory from ED.
Erectile dysfunction is one of the most commonly reported medical conditions that affect men. It is also called things like impotence, ED etc.
This article explains all you need to know about it: the causes, symptoms and prevention.