Erectile dysfunction or impotence is a severe and disturbing disease for any man. It is a disease in which men cannot keep or maintain their erection to have successful sexual intercourse with their partner, often leaving one embarrassed.
Although many men won’t report it, it is, however, not very uncommon. It can be a very challenging and depressing situation for any man, especially for young people. Nonetheless, some people may confuse erectile dysfunction with some other problem like decreased libido. Therefore, over here, we will be covering some of the essential highlights of the disease. If you still have some concerns regarding erectile dysfunction, then it would be wise to click here.
Physiology of Erection:
Erection is a complex process that involves interaction between multiple physiological pathways. It primarily involves the brain, a complex array of hormones, nerves, muscles, blood vessels, among many others. And since it involves interaction and overlapping of many pathways, there may not be a specific cause of erectile dysfunction. A problem at any one of the steps may result in erectile dysfunction.
Likewise, erectile dysfunction can include both a physical and mental or emotional cause, such as stress or depression, which could cause or even worsen a preexisting disease.
Other common causes include a history of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, or high blood pressure, each of which can contribute to erectile dysfunction. Advancing age has also been known to cause this disease. Increased obesity and cholesterol in one’s body can also manifest as impotence.
Excess of a specific drug may also persist as impotence, along with too much alcohol uptake for many weeks. Therefore it is always wise to limit your alcohol intake.
Erectile dysfunction has also been known to occur along with some diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Peyronie’s disease, etc. Some men also suffer from low testosterone levels, which can cause a decrease in libido and may also persist as impotence.
A person is considered suffering from erectile dysfunction if he is struggling from:
- Having decreased sexual desires (decrease in a libido)
- Difficulty getting or even maintaining an erection during a sexual encounter
That is to say, if anyone has experienced this only once or twice, then there is no reason to panic. Things like this, although they can be embarrassing, are more common than one thinks they are. And the person needs to address this as once on blue moon incidence, rather than getting alarmed by it. One must try not to overthink it because stress can further contribute or even develop a non-existing problem.
Diagnosis of erectile dysfunction is easier said than done. And self-diagnosis is not at all promoted and even not healthy. It can create a false perception of a non-existing disease and contribute to further embarrassment and further stress and anxiety, giving way to even more problems.
Visit to a physician may be beneficial, if any doubt exists and get an expert opinion on this matter. He may ask you a series of questions, such as sexual history and general health history, including few questions about your past medical experience.
He may then perform a physical examination of your pelvis and testicular area and check the nerves involved in the concerned sensory input. No need to panic because they are also a part of a routine checkup protocol.
However, if the doctor suspects something might be there, he may ask for a few tests to get done. These tests may include a series of blood tests or urine tests to check your current testosterone level, any signs of heart diseases, and other health conditions that may contribute to erectile dysfunction.
An ultrasound may also be required to have an in-depth analysis of the erection mechanism in the patient’s body. But the ultrasound is safe because it has no radiation involved compared to X-ray, which includes subjecting the body to high doses of radiation. On the other hand, ultrasound uses ultrasonic sound waves to create a live video feed and an image to analyze the mechanism. And finally, based on these findings, the doctors can then tell you a more conclusive result.
The treatment for erectile dysfunction is carried out by first eliminating the cause that is causing this disorder. Any underlying health condition contributing to impotence is treated, and the doctor makes sure that you get the appropriate treatment for the right disorder.
Of course, a treatment plan will be devised based on your health and the underlying condition, as well as your and your partner’s mutual consent.
Certain medications are indicated for erectile dysfunction. Men can use oral medications like Avanafil, Tadalafil, and Sildenafil. These medications cause the release of nitric oxide in your blood vessels. Nitric oxide is a potent vasodilator, meaning it expands the blood vessels, thus increasing the blood flow and causing an erection. However, they do not produce an erection without sexual stimulation. They only amplify the signals received from the penile nerves and cause a normal erection in some individuals. They cannot cause excitement or enhance an already normal erection.
There are, however, side effects to their usage, and they should only be used under a doctor’s prescription. The doctor will decide which medicine will be best for you, according to your case. It is also advisable to use herbal medicines and natural ways first before resorting to medications. But that too, with your doctor’s permission.
There are other treatment options for more severe cases, like Penile pumps, Penile implants, self-injections, and testosterone replacement. However, it is best first to try other methods then to resort to these methods.
Exercise has been shown to improve erection through several pathways, like increasing the blood flow in your body, stimulating testosterone production, etc. It is advisable to do high-intensity exercises, which may contribute to the prevention of erectile dysfunction. Consult your physician for more information about that.
Lastly, a psychologist’s intervention may sometimes miraculously improve a troublesome condition. If the erectile dysfunction is caused by depression, stress or anxiety, your doctor may recommend you and your partner to visit a psychologist and get proper therapy done. This will improve your current situation and contribute to your overall health and mood.