Erectile Dysfunction: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment
Definition of Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction is a disorder defined by the failure of an individual to obtain an erection or sustain it. Often recognized as impotence, which leaves the woman unaware of having sexual intercourse. It’s common for some people to have any trouble sometimes attaining an erection, but if the condition is persistent or recurrent it is treated as a disease. Erectile dysfunction is having wide-ranging consequences. Patients can suffer shame because of it, low self-esteem and issues with their relationships. Therefore, people with this disorder are advised to contact a medical professional, as there are appropriate medications and other treatment options.
To understand how erectile dysfunction occurs, it’s first important to understand how sexually aroused the male organ becomes. Erections occur when blood flow to the penile arteries filling up the corpora cavernosa, which are the two chambers of blood in the penis, increases. The prostate is solid when this does happen. The muscles in it have to be relaxed for the blood to flow into the penis and when it stretches again, the blood flows back, marking the termination of the erection.
To produce an erection, the male body undergoes a complex process involving multiple parts of the body, including the brain, the organs responsible for producing and controlling hormones, the nerves and blood vessels that contribute to it, and the male organ muscles. A man should have a stable and properly functioning nervous system, good arteries leading to the penile chambers and strong muscles and enough nitric oxide in the penis for a successful erection.
The most common causes of erectile dysfunction include:
- Age – Studies show that ED is more prevalent among men who are at least 60 years old
- An underlying health problem
- Metabolic syndrome
- As a side effect of certain medications, such as antidepressants or some pain relievers
- As a side effect of cancer therapy
- Injury to the pelvic area or spinal cord
- Hypertension – High blood pressure can cause the narrowing of blood vessels leading to the penis
- Hormonal problems
- High cholesterol
- Heart disease
- Low self-esteem
- Difficulty conceiving a child
Erectile dysfunction is a treatable health problem, and people who suffer from it are encouraged to seek professional help as soon as they encounter the above signs. A family doctor is the safest primary health care provider, while patients may be referred to specialists when appropriate. Of starters, if a man develops ED as a result of an ongoing heart problem, then he will be referred to care to a cardiologist.
Lifestyle Changes – When ED is triggered by the use of alcohol, cigarettes or illegal substances, the individual will be advised to make any changes in lifestyle to solve the problem.
Counseling – If a man is found to have difficulty getting an erection due to stress or distress, he may seek stress management therapy or as part of depression treatment.
To chose any treatment for ED first consult with your doctor. Don’t give up!