September 25, 2017
Also known as impotence or an inability to get it up, erectile dysfunction (ED) is one of the top nightmares that every man has. Although a great number of men have or will experience some difficulty in getting and maintaining an erection, it becomes a problem when it happens often.
How does ED happen?
When a man is stimulated by physical touch or stimulating thoughts and images, the brain sends signals to the blood vessels to force blood into the penis. When the penis fills with blood, it becomes erect. Anything that restricts this flow of blood can lead to erectile dysfunction.
What are the causes of erectile dysfunction?
Psychological and emotional factors: Stress, relationship issues, financial burdens can all prevent a man from sustaining an erection.
Medications: ED can be a side effect of certain medications, particularly those used to treat mood disorders, depression and high BP.
Hormonal: Having lowered levels of testosterone can make it difficult to get an erection
Alcohol and substance abuse: many experience dysfunction when drunk or high but regular substance use can have more permanent effects.
Spinal cord injury, cancer surgery or radiotherapy
Heart disease and blood vessel conditions, particularly arteriosclerosis.
What predisposes a man to having ED?
The number one factor that contributes to having ED is old age as after the age of 50, erectile dysfunction is common in men. Unfortunately, it also occurs in younger men.
Other predisposing factors to erectile dysfunction include hypertension, high cholesterol levels, diabetes mellitus and smoking/substance abuse.
Treatment of erectile dysfunction
- Treat the cause:
You need to first find out what is causing the problem. This would include a visit to your doctor, a psychologist, sex therapist or even a surgeon. There is no point merely treating the symptom when there is an underlying cause.
On checking the shelves of a drugs store or supermarket, you would see many products including herbal aphrodisiac preparations that a number of people swear by. However, many of these are unapproved and can actually harm you in the long run.
Only phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors (PDE-5) are approved for the treatment of ED. Examples of the drugs in this class include Levitra, Stendra, and the popular Viagra. These drugs are usually safe. However, if you have a heart trouble and use nitrates, then you need to check with your doctor first.
3. Penile pumps: If you do not want to pop a pill, then you can use this small vacuum equipment that gets the penis erected. It is sold at many sex toy shops and is meant to be used just before sex.
4. Penile implants: Getting a surgical implant into your penis can be a lasting solution to this problem. This procedure i can be device is surgically placed into the penis. It is an invasive procedure.
While there are many options for managing erectile dysfunction, the best way to have a healthy penis which is active in service is to have a healthy body. This can be done by eating a healthy diet; adequate exercise; moderate alcohol intake; no smoking; reduced stress and regular full body checks.
If you need more information or have any other health concern, our doctors at DoctorDial are available for you to chat with or call at your convenience.