Understanding Erectile Dysfunction

sad-man-drinking One in every ten men is effected by ED. Thankfully in most cases the problem is easily cured and one can continue to lead a sexually active and satisfying life.

ED is defined as the ‘repeated inability to get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse despite being aroused.’ Keep in mind that the ‘occasional’ inability to achieve an erection is not ED, the problem is significant only when it is a constant issue.

The causes of ED vary drastically. Essentially it is a lack of adequate flow of blood into the penile area that results in a weak erection. In normal circumstances, veins carry blood into the spongy tissue of the penis and keep it blocked here until the man ejaculates. Any obstruction in this flow of blood will result in ED.

While it is true that ED can strike almost any man, there are certain categories that are more likely to fall prey to the problem. A list of high risk ED groups follows –

  • Age – Those who have crossed the 65 year mark are highly susceptible to the disease.

  • Diabetes – 80 % of men with diabetes fall prey to ED as opposed to 22% of men who do not suffer from the ailment. However, it has been seen that ED can be controlled by controlling diabetes.

  • Genetics – Those with a family history of ED are definitely more susceptible to falling prey to the problem.

  • Medical problems – ED is very likely to occur in those who suffer from medical issues such as heart diseases, high BP, obesity, nerve damage, injury to pelvic area, prostrate surgery, substance abuse, etc. Alcohol and drug addiction are also major causes of ED.

  • Psychological problems – Those who are prone to depression, stress, anxiety and other such problems can fall prey to ED too. In fact, medication prescribed for these problems is often known to affect the flow of blood to the penis.

  • Low testosterone level – Men who have low testosterone levels can suffer from ED too. However, this is a rare possibility.

There are several signs of ED that can help in diagnosing the problem. Loss of interest in sex, dropping frequency of sex, frustration, lowered intimacy with partner, poor erection, premature ejaculation and even an erection that does not sustain for long are all signs of ED.

One can undertake a blood test or go through an ultrasound when hoping to diagnose the problem. Infusion cavernosometry & cavernosography where a dye is injected into the penis blood vessel also helps in ascertaining the blood pressure in this area and thereby diagnose ED. Nocturnal tumescence test helps in ensuring if there is a physical cause for ED.

There are several treatments that can be adopted in order to cure ED and one need not suffer with the problem indefinitely. There are prescription drugs like Viagra Levitra and Cialis that are said to be effective, though they do have their side effects. There are surgical options and of course testosterone replacement therapy too. There is the needle injection therapy where the synthetic hormone is injected into the base of the penis and gives an instant erection that lasts for up to 60 minutes. There are penis pumps and penis exercises that are also promoted as ED cures.

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