Erectile dysfunction or erectile dysfunction (impotence) is the inability to get and maintain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse.
Having erection problems from time to time is not necessarily a cause for concern. If erectile dysfunction is an ongoing problem, it can cause stress, affect self-confidence, and contribute to relationship problems. Having or maintaining an erection can also be a sign of an underlying health condition that needs treatment and a risk factor for heart disease.
And talk to your doctor if you’re concerned about erectile dysfunction, even if you’re embarrassed. Sometimes treating the underlying disease is enough to reverse the condition, in other cases medications or other direct treatments may be needed.
Erectile dysfunction symptoms
Symptoms of this condition include persistent problems accompanied by:
- Having trouble getting an erection.
- Having trouble maintaining an erection.
- Decreased sexual desire.
Need to see a doctor
A family doctor is a good place to go if you suffer from erectile dysfunction. You should see your doctor if you:
- You have concerns about an erection or other sexual problems such as premature or delayed ejaculation.
- You have diabetes, heart disease, or another health condition that may be linked to erectile dysfunction.
- You have symptoms other than erectile dysfunction.
Causes of erectile dysfunction
Male sexual arousal is a complex process involving the brain, hormones, emotions, nerves, muscles, and blood vessels. Erectile dysfunction can result from a problem with any of these elements. Stress and mental health problems can cause or worsen erectile dysfunction.
Sometimes a combination of physical and mental problems can lead to erectile dysfunction. For example, a simple physical illness that slows down the sexual response can cause a fear of maintaining an erection, and the resulting fear can lead to or exacerbate erectile dysfunction.
In many cases, something physical is causing this condition. Common causes are:
The brain plays an important role in the chain of physical events that lead to an erection, starting with feeling sexual arousal. There are a number of things that can affect sexual feelings and cause or worsen erectile dysfunction, including:
- Depression, anxiety, or other mental illness.
- confirm that.
- Relationship problems due to stress, misunderstandings, or other concerns.
Risk factors for erectile dysfunction
It may take longer for an erection to occur as you age, and it may not be as strong and firm. You may need to touch your penis more directly to get and maintain an erection. Several risk factors can contribute to erectile dysfunction, including:
- Diseases, especially diabetes or heart disease.
- Tobacco use, which limits blood flow to veins and arteries.
- Weight gain, especially if you are obese.
- Certain medical treatments, such as prostate surgery or radiation therapy for cancer.
- Injuries, especially if they damage the nerves or arteries that control erections.
- Medicines, including antidepressants and antihistamines, and medicines used to treat high blood pressure, pain, or prostate conditions.
- Mental conditions such as stress, anxiety and depression.
- Drug and alcohol abuse, especially if you have been a long-time drug addict or have been a heavy drinker.
erectile dysfunction complications
Erectile dysfunction complications include:
- Unsatisfactory sex life.
- stress or anxiety
- Embarrassment or low self-esteem.
- Relationship problems.
- Inability to get pregnant.
Prevent erectile dysfunction
The best way to prevent this condition is to change a healthy lifestyle and control any existing health conditions. And you can do the following:
- Work with your doctor to manage diabetes, heart disease, or other chronic health conditions.
- See your doctor for regular checkups.
- Quit smoking, limit or avoid alcohol, and don’t use illegal drugs.
- I exercise regularly.
- Follow the steps to reduce stress.
- Get help with anxiety, depression or other mental health problems.
Erectile Dysfunction Diagnosis
For many men, a physical exam and answering questions (medical history) may be all a doctor needs to diagnose erectile dysfunction and recommend treatment.
If you have chronic health problems or your doctor suspects you may have an underlying condition, you may need further testing or professional advice. Tests to check for underlying conditions can include:
- A physical exam, including a careful examination of the penis and testicles, as well as checking for the sensations in your nerves.
- Blood analysis: A blood sample may be sent to a lab to check for signs of heart disease, diabetes, low testosterone levels and other health conditions.
- Urinalysis, like blood, is used to check for signs of diabetes and other underlying health conditions.
- Ultrasound scan, which is usually done by a specialist in their office. This uses a transducer that fits over the blood vessels that supply the penis and takes a video image so your doctor can see if you have problems with blood flow.
- Psychological examination Your doctor may ask questions to look for depression and other possible psychological causes of erectile dysfunction.
erectile dysfunction treatment
The first thing your doctor will do is make sure that you are receiving the correct treatment for any health condition that could be causing or worsening your erectile dysfunction.
You may be offered different treatment options depending on the cause and severity of your illness, as well as your underlying health conditions. Your doctor can explain the risks and benefits of each treatment and take your preferences into account. Your partner’s preferences can also play a role in your treatment options.
Oral medications are effective treatments for erectile dysfunction for many men, including:
The four drugs increase the effect of nitric oxide, the natural chemical your body produces to relax the muscles of the penis, increase blood flow, and help you get an erection in response to sexual stimulation.
Neither of these drugs automatically causes an erection. First, sexual stimulation is required to induce the release of nitric oxide from the bronchial nerves. These medications help amplify this signal so that some men can function normally. Oral erectile dysfunction drugs are not stimulants, do not cause excitement, and are not required for men who get erections naturally.
Get advice from your doctor before taking any medication for erectile dysfunction, including over-the-counter diet supplements and herbal remedies. Erectile dysfunction medications do not work for all men and may be less effective in some cases, such as: B – after prostate surgery or diabetes. Some medications can also be dangerous if:
- You are taking nitrates, which are usually prescribed for chest pain (angina).
- You have heart disease or heart failure.
- You have high blood pressure.
Other erectile dysfunction medications include:
- Alprostadil self-injection.
- Alprostadil suppositories for the urethra.
- Testosterone replacement.
Penis Pumps, Surgery & Implants
If medications are not effective or appropriate for you, your doctor may recommend another treatment. Other treatments include:
- Penis pumps are a hollow tube with either a manual or battery-operated pump. The tube is placed over the penis, then a pump is used to draw air from inside the tube, creating a vacuum that draws blood into the penis. Once you get an erection, a tension ring slides around the base of the penis to trap blood and hold it in place, then remove the vacuum device.
- Penile implant: It involves the surgical placement of devices on both sides of the penis. These implantable devices consist of inflatable or flexible rods. Inflatable devices allow you to control the timing and duration of an erection, while flexible rods hold the penis firmly but in a flexible shape.
- Exercise Recent studies have found that moderate to vigorous exercise can improve erectile dysfunction, but the benefits may be less in some men, including those with heart disease or other serious medical conditions.
- Psychological counseling if erectile dysfunction is caused by stress, anxiety or depression, or if the illness is causing stress and tension in the relationship.
Before using any dietary supplement, ask your doctor to make sure it is safe for you, especially if you have chronic health problems. Some alternative products that claim to treat erectile dysfunction can be dangerous.
The US Food and Drug Administration has issued warnings about different types of herbal Viagra because they contain harmful drugs not listed on the label. The dose could also be unknown or contaminated during installation.
Some of these medications can interact with prescription medications and cause a dangerous drop in blood pressure. These products are especially dangerous for men who take nitrates.
Lifestyle and some home remedies
For many men, erectile dysfunction is caused or made worse by lifestyle choices. Some of the following steps can help:
Dealing with illness and support
Regardless of whether the cause is physical, psychological, or a combination of the two, this condition can become a source of psychological and emotional stress for you and your partner. You can follow these steps:
- Don’t assume you have a long-term problem, keep in mind that temporary erection problems are a reflection of your health or manhood, and don’t automatically expect that you’ll have an erection problem again the next time you have sex. It can cause anxiety, making the condition worse.
- Share your sexual partner: Your partner may see your inability to have an erection as a sign of declining sexual interest, so reassure them that this belief is wrong and communicate openly and honestly about your condition. Treatment is often successful if the man shares his partner.
- Don’t ignore stress, anxiety, or other mental health issues. Talk to your doctor or psychiatrist for help with these issues.
Preparing for a doctor’s appointment
You’ll likely see your primary care doctor or family doctor first, and you can see a doctor who specializes in male reproductive problems directly or a doctor who specializes in endocrinology depending on your specific health concerns. This information will help you prepare for your appointment and know what to expect from your doctor.
Follow these steps before your appointment:
- At the time of the appointment, ask in advance what you need to do. For example, your doctor may ask you not to eat anything before your blood test.
- Write down all of your symptoms, including any unrelated to erectile dysfunction.
- Write down important personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal remedies you’re taking.
- If possible, take your partner with you so that you can remember the information you received during the appointment.
- Write a question to ask your doctor.
Among the most important questions to ask your doctor:
- What is the most likely cause of my erection problems? Are there other possible causes?
- What checks should I do?
- Does my erectile dysfunction seem temporary or chronic?
- What is the best treatment?
- What are the alternatives to the primary treatment method that you suggest?
- How can I control other health conditions with erectile dysfunction?
- Are there any restrictions that I must follow?
- Are there natural alternatives when I prescribe medication?
- Are there brochures or other printed materials that I can take with me? What sites do you recommend visiting?
Don’t hesitate to ask other questions during your appointment in addition to the questions that you’ve prepared. Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of the following questions:
- What other health concerns or chronic diseases do you have?
- Do you suffer from any other sexual problems?
- Have you experienced changes in sexual desire?
- Does an erection occur while masturbating, with your partner, or while you sleep?
- Are there any problems in your relationship with your sexual partner?
- Does your partner suffer from sexual problems?
- Do you suffer from anxiety, depression and stress?
- Have you ever been diagnosed with a mental illness? If so, are you currently taking medication or receiving psychiatric treatment for it?
- When did you first notice sexual problems?
- Do erection problems happen only occasionally or often?
- What medications do you take, including herbal remedies or nutritional supplements?
- Do you drink alcohol? If so, how much do you drink?
- Do you use illegal drugs?
- Is there anything, if any, that can improve or worsen symptoms?