Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction

Overview of Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction, also called impotence, is defined as the inability to get an erection and keep it firm enough for sex. Some men experience this problem infrequently, and this should not be a concern. If the problem lasts long enough, it can lead to stress, self-confidence, and relational problems. If you are concerned about erectile dysfunction, call your physician. In some cases, there are health conditions that need to be addressed and can be a symptom of heart disease. Erectile dysfunction can be treated by treating the underlying problems, medication, or other direct treatments. Do not feel embarrassed to call your physician about this.

Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction

The symptoms of erectile dysfunction are reduced sexual desire and trouble getting or keep an erection. It is best to speak with your physician when you start having any concerns. Your concerns may be about erections, premature ejaculation, or delayed ejaculation. You should also call your physician immediately if you have other troubling symptoms with erectile dysfunction, or if you have diabetes, heart disease, or any other health problem that may be a link to the problem.

Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

There are many causes of erectile dysfunction. Sexual arousal stems from the brain, emotions, nerves, blood vessels, muscles, and hormones. If there are any problems with this, then it is likely to be the result of erectile dysfunction. Stress and mental health can also be the cause of erectile dysfunction. In some cases, the result of a combination is the reason. For example, if diabetes is the cause of a delayed sexual response, then stressing about it can make it even worse.

The following are also common causes for erectile dysfunction:

  • Sleep disorder
  • Alcoholism
  • Surgeries around the pelvic area
  • Injuries to the pelvic area
  • Tobacco use Peyronie’s disease – this occurs when there is scar tissue inside the penis
  • Prostate treatments
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Prescription medications
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Heart disease
  • Atherosclerosis
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol

There are also many psychological causes of erectile dysfunction. This may include: relationship problems because of stress, stress, anxiety, depression, or any other mental health problems.

Risk Factors of Erectile Dysfunction

In most cases, erectile dysfunction occurs as your get older. There are many other factors that put you at a higher risk for erectile dysfunction such as being overweight or having other medical conditions, such as heart conditions and diabetes. The use of tobacco restricts the flow of blood to veins and arteries, which leads to erectile dysfunction. It is found in people that have used drugs and alcohol. Some medications and medical treatments also put you at a higher risk. You may also be at a higher risk if you have experienced injuries that damage the arteries or nerves that control erections. Another huge risk factor is your mental health. If you are experiencing stress, anxiety, or depression, then that may also lead to erectile dysfunction. This is especially prominent in people that have anxiety about keeping an erection.

There are many complications that are found with erectile dysfunction. The main problem is your mental health. If you are experiencing erectile dysfunction, then you may have stress, anxiety, depression, or low self-esteem. When you have a partner, you may experience many relationship problems, unsatisfactory sex life, or the inability to get your partner pregnant.

Preventing Erectile Dysfunction

The main way to prevent erectile dysfunction is to take care of yourself and to manage any health problems that you have. The first step is to eat a balanced diet and exercise for at least thirty minutes each day. Stop smoking, drinking alcohol, and do not use drugs. If you need help with any of these, speak with your physician about the best way to quit these and find a support group to keep you accountable for quitting. If you have another health condition such as heart disease, or diabetes, it is important to work closely with your physician to manage your health conditions. If you have any mental health conditions, work with your physician to get control of that, whether it is medication or therapy. Lastly, the most important thing for your health is to keep your follow up appointments and tests with your doctor. This will keep an eye on anything that is changing in your body.

Diagnosis of Erectile Dysfunction

In most cases, a physical examination with your physician is the most that is needed to diagnose erectile dysfunction. Your physician may also ask that you complete a health questionnaire. From there, your physician will be able to recommend a treatment plan. If you have other health conditions that are causing erectile dysfunction, then you will want to see your doctor to diagnose this as well. A blood test may be taken, which can help to diagnose heart disease, low testosterone, diabetes, or anything else that may be occurring in the body. Just like a blood test, your physician may recommend a urinalysis, which is also used for looking for underlying health conditions. An ultrasound will be performed by allowing your physician to see if there are any blood flow problems. This test can be done when your physician injects medications to the penis to produce an erection.

If you believe that your erectile dysfunction is a product of poor mental health, then your physician will ask questions in regards to depression and anxiety. You may be referred to a psychological exam to see if there is a mental cause of this.

Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction

Once erectile dysfunction has been diagnosed, your physician will be sure to treat any other underlying medical conditions first. Treatment can vary depending on the person and the other health conditions that may be present.

The most common form of treatment is oral medications. This can be successful in treating erectile dysfunction in many men. Some examples of medications for this include: Avanafil, vardenafil, sildenafil, or tadalafil. These medications work by enhancing the effects of nitric oxide in the penis. Nitric oxide is a natural chemical that the body will release to relax the muscles in the penis. When this occurs, the blood flow increases and allows an erection to occur. This medication does not mean you will automatically get an erection; a sexual stimulation is needed to release the nitric oxide first. The medication just helps to amplify the signal. Speak with your physician about these medications, as they can vary in dosage, side effects, etc. Medication will not be best for you if you take nitrate drugs, have low blood pressure, or have any heart problems.

There are many other medications, such as injections that may be best for you. For example, an alprostadil self-injection is used by injecting the side of your penis with medications that are created to make an erection that lasts for about an hour. An alprostadil urethral suppository is used by placing a tiny suppository into the penis. The erection begins within ten minutes and lasts for less than an hour. Some physicians will also recommend a testosterone replacement, if erectile dysfunction is caused by hormones. Speak with your physician about these treatments.

Home Remedies for Erectile Dysfunction

The first step is to quit smoking if you are a smoker. If you have tried to quit before and have not been successful, then reach out to your physician and find a cessation tool that works best for you. Find a support group so you can work on quitting together. It is also important to be in the best health possible by eating a balanced diet and also exercising regularly. Being overweight can cause erectile dysfunction or even worsen the symptoms. Relationship problems will need to be worked through. Speak with your partner about what you are going through and find a treatment that suits both of you.

In some recent studies, they have found that exercise helps circulation that may reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction. Work with your physician on the best exercise plan for you.

Support with Erectile Dysfunction

Most men assume that erectile dysfunction is a problem that they will deal with for the rest of their life. That is not the case. If you have experienced erectile dysfunction in the past, do not think about it at your next sexual encounter. The added stress and anxiety are not helpful. Do not ignore stress and anxiety. Be sure to speak with your physician about what you are going through. Lastly, be open with your partner about what you are going through and what the physician is going through. Keep this line of communication open with your partner.

Summary of Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is found in many men. Diagnosis of erectile dysfunction can be done through a simple physical examination or blood and urine tests. The treatment will be dependent on your diagnosis. The cause of erectile dysfunction can be various other health problems or even mental health. Mental health plays a large part in erectile dysfunction; especially in those that have anxiety about their diagnosis.

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