Are you unable to get or maintain your erections? That’s what medical professionals call erectile dysfunction. Millions of men in the United States are struggling with erectile dysfunction. However, not all of them seek treatment. Why so? They usually hesitate or feel embarrassed about their problem and choose to live with the problem.
But why live with such a frustrating condition when there are numerous strategies to help? You may develop erectile dysfunction due to a wide range of factors which we will discuss in this blog. Fortunately, most causes of erectile dysfunction are treatable and curable. You can talk to your general practitioner or schedule an appointment with a urologist to determine the underlying cause of your symptoms and start treatment as early as possible.
What Are The Symptoms Of Erectile Dysfunction?
Symptoms of erectile dysfunction include persistent:
- Problem achieving an erection
- Problem maintaining an erection
- Reduce sexual desire
What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?
To get an erection, your hormones, emotions, brain, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels all need to be in good condition. If any of these goes out of order or doesn’t work as they should, erectile dysfunction may occur. Also, stress, anxiety, and other mental health problems can cause or worsen erectile dysfunction in men.
In some cases, a combination of physical and psychological factors causes erectile dysfunction. For example, a mild physical condition that delays your sexual response may cause anxiety about getting and maintaining an erection for intercourse. The resulting anxiety can cause or aggravate your symptoms of erectile dysfunction.
Physical causes Of erectile dysfunction
Some most common physical causes of erectile dysfunction include:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Clogged blood vessels (atherosclerosis)
- High cholesterol
- Parkinson’s disease
- Peyronie’s disease
- Metabolic syndrome – a condition involving high insulin levels, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, body fat around the waist
- Multiple sclerosis
- Sleep disorders
- Treatments for enlarged prostate or prostate cancer
- Surgeries or injuries that impact the pelvic region or spinal cord
- Certain prescription medications
- Tobacco use
- Alcoholism and other forms of substance abuse
- Low testosterone
Psychological causes of erectile dysfunction
Some common psychological causes of erectile dysfunction include:
- Relationship issues
Who Is At A Risk For Erectile Dysfunction?
With growing age, you may require more sexual stimulation, or your erections may not be firm enough. You may face problems getting and maintaining erections. Other factors that put you at more risk for erectile dysfunction include:
- Being overweight: Overweight and obese men are more susceptible to develop erectile dysfunction.
- Tobacco use: It restricts the blood flowing to arteries and veins and can lead to chronic conditions over time which can lead to erectile dysfunction.
- Alcohol and drug abuse: Being a heavy drinker or drug user elevates your risk for ED.
- Certain medications: These include antidepressants, antihistamines, and medications used to manage high blood pressure, pain, or prostate conditions.
- Medical conditions: These include specifically diabetes and heart-related conditions.
- Medical treatments: Treatments including radiation therapy or chemotherapy for cancer or prostate surgery.
- Injuries: Those injuries which can damage arteries or nerves that control erections can lead to erectile dysfunction.
- Psychological conditions: Various psychological conditions such as stress, anxiety, depression, relationship problems can impact your ability to get and maintain erections.
How To Prevent Erectile Dysfunction?
The best strategy to prevent erectile dysfunction is to manage your pre-existing conditions (if any) and make healthier lifestyle choices. You can:
- Quit smoking
- Drink in moderation
- Avoid using illegal drugs
- Manage conditions like diabetes, heart disease, or any other chronic health conditions
- Exercise regularly
- Consult your doctor for frequent checkups and medical screening tests
- Gel help with stress, depression, and other psychological concerns
How is Erectile Dysfunction Treated?
The first thing your healthcare specialist will do is to review if any of your medications could cause or worsen ED. If he finds any of them to be responsible, he may lower the dosage of the drug or prescribe you a different medication to see if your symptoms improve.
Based on the cause and severity of your symptoms and any underlying health conditions, your doctor may analyze your treatment options. Ask your doctor the benefits and risks of each treatment alternative before starting with any of them. You and your partner’s preferences also play a crucial role in your treatment options.
Oral medications are known to be a successful and convenient treatment for erectile dysfunction. There is a wide range of ED pills available on the doctor; your doctor will recommend the one that’s best for you.
Some common ED medications include:
- Sildenafil (Viagra)
- Tadalafil (Adcirca, Cialis)
- Vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn)
- Avanafil (Stendra)
All these medications improve the effects of nitric oxide in the body. Nitric Oxide is a natural chemical that your body produces, which relaxes your penile blood vessels. This allows increased blood to flow into the penis and allows you to attain an erection in response to sexual stimulation. Taking these medications would not help you with erection unless you’re sexually aroused.
These medications differ in terms of dosage, the time for which they will remain effective, and potential side effects. Some most common side effects include headache, facial flushing, nasal congestion, stomach upset, backache, visual changes, etc.
Before starting to use any ED medication, you should seek your doctor’s approval to make sure it’s safe for you. These medications aren’t suitable for everyone or may not cause the desired effect in people with certain conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, etc. If you have any of these conditions, talk to your doctor to determine how safe the oral medications will be for you. Know about Generic Medicines in USA .
Alternative ED Treatments
If oral medications aren’t appropriate for you or you are unable to achieve the desired result from them, you can consider any of the following treatments after consulting your doctor:
- Injectable medications such as Alprostadil
- Vacuum erection devices
- Penile implants
- Testosterone therapy