Things you have to know about erectile dysfunction
What is erectile dysfunction? In the world of relationships, intimacy is important. But sometimes, a common problem called erectile dysfunction (ED) can make it challenging. Erectile dysfunction is a real problem as you can’t experience sexual pleasure.
Importantly, it affects the person experiencing it and their partner. Both individuals often grapple with stress, depression, and emotional strain due to the impact of erectile dysfunction on their relationships. But you don’t need to worry as it is a treatable disease. There are various treatment options available.
For those who find themselves in this situation, it’s crucial to understand the condition comprehensively, its causes, symptoms, treatment, etc.
This article will help you understand what erectile dysfunction is, its causes, symptoms, and treatment options.
Symptoms of erectile dysfunction
The most common symptoms of erectile dysfunction are having difficulty in erection and maintaining it in sexual activity.
Some other problems related to ED are:
- Premature ejaculation
- Delayed ejaculation
If you are suffering from any of these symptoms and they are persistent for more than a month, then you should consult your doctor.
Causes of erectile dysfunction
There are different causes and factors of erectile dysfunction. These are physical, medical, and psychological.
The following are some common causes of ED:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Cvs problems
- Low level of testosterone
- Kidney disease
- Old age
- Problems in relationship
The following psychological factors can cause ED:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
If you are having psychological ED, then you should take talk therapy. Talk therapy can work in this case. In these sessions, you will talk about:
- Underlying anxiety or stress factors
- Your feelings around sex
- Conflicts that are affecting your sexual well-being
If you have problems in your relationship due to ED, you should talk to a relationship counselor. It can help you reconnect your relationship.
- Alcohol consumption
- Liver cirrhosis
- Tobacco use
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Peyronie’s disease
The following are some emotional causes that can cause ED:
- Performance pressure
- Issues in relationship
Erectile dysfunction and age
According to research done by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, almost 30 million U.S. men suffer from ED.
Older men are more prone to ED. According to the University of Wisconsin, mild or moderate ED affects almost 10 percent or more men after every 10 years. 60 percent of men suffer from ED in their 60s.
But rare cases are present in younger people. According to a study in 2013, 1 in 4 men who took their ED was younger than 40 years. Research also proved that there is a strong link between smoking and ED.
If you are generally healthier, then your sexual function will be better. If you are a diabetic patient, then you should control your blood sugar levels.
How to diagnose erectile dysfunction?
To make the diagnosis, you need a physical examination as well as an examination of your health and sexual history. Some additional tests are also sometimes required:
- Physical examination
In this, the doctor will:
- Check your BP
- Heart and lung examination
- Examination of penis and testicles
- Check if there is a reduction in the pelvic area
- Check nerve supply in the pelvic region
Your psychiatrist will ask you some questions for the psychosocial examination, or you’ll have to fill out the questionnaire. With the help of this response, your psychiatrist will evaluate the severity of ED.
The questions can be as follows:
- For how much time have you been experiencing ED? Did it develop abruptly or gradually?
- Are you facing difficulty in feeling sexual desire, ejaculation, or reaching orgasm?
- How often do you perform sexual activity in a week? Did its frequency change?
- How firm are your erections? Are these affected by any stimulation?
- Do you suffer from waking up with an erection in the morning or middle of the night?
- Are you suffering from any stress?
- Do you have any medical problems or surgeries involving the pelvic area?
- Are you taking any medications?
- Do you smoke, alcohol intake, or tobacco use?
Your doctor will make you take some extra tests to reach the exact diagnosis.
These are the following tests:
The doctor will see the blood vessels of the penis with the help of ultrasound.
- Nocturnal penile tumescence test
In this test, a portable battery-operated device is used to check the quality of your nocturnal erections. This device is placed on the thigh. The doctor will be able to access the data stored in the device.
- Injection test
In this test, the doctor will inject medication into the penis to stimulate the erection. It will tell about the severity of the firmness of the erection and how much time it takes.
Best treatment for erectile dysfunction
Treatment of ED varies according to the cause. It can be a combination of medication and therapy.
In ED, the person has to take many medications to find out which works for him. Following are the medicines that will increase the blood flow to the penis:
Mostly, alprostadil is combined with trimix.
- Testosterone replacement therapy
If your testosterone level is too low, then you will require testosterone replacement therapy.
Sometimes, if you take medication for some other medical problems, then it can lead to ED as well. So you must consult your doctor.
If the current medication is causing ED, then the doctor will prescribe you some alternatives.
- Vacuum therapy
In this treatment, a vacuum is created to stimulate an erection. This increases the blood flow in the penis. Thus causing an erection.
A vacuum pump device consists of the following components:
- A pump that draws the air out of the plastic tube
- Plastic tube, which is placed over the penis
- An elastic ring which you move on the penis
- An elastic ring maintains the erection as it does not let the blood return from the penis to circulation
Erectile dysfunction is common but treatable. Most men go through ED because of different physical, emotional, and psychological reasons. There are treatment options available, such as medication, testosterone stimulation therapy, vacuum pump therapy, etc.