Erectile dysfunction, also referred to as impotence, is a sexual dysfunction that occurs when one is unable to develop and maintain an erection during sexual activity. This problem is very common in both the young and the old. It is however more common in older men, affecting almost half of men over the age of forty to some degree. Depending on how severe or frequent it is, it may be a health problem requiring medical attention. It is often a symptom of possible underlying medical problems.
Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction
For most men, the inability to get an erection may be occasional. This is often considered normal and not a serious issue. However, the condition may be serious if one or more of the following symptoms lasts long or happens frequently.
- Inability or difficulty in getting an erection
- Difficulty in keeping an erection
- Reduced sexual desire or libido
Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction has a range of causes which can be either psychological and physical.
- Excessive use of drugs such as alcohol and tobacco
- Performance anxiety
- Relationship problems
- Injury or surgery
- Hormonal problems
- Side effect of using certain medicines
- Kidney failure
Diagnosis of Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction can be diagnosed by a doctor. The doctor will talk with you about your situation and may also carry out physical examination to accurately find the cause of the problem. It is only after the doctor determines the cause of the problem that they will give you appropriate treatment.
Unfortunately, most men usually judge themselves too harshly when it comes to their sexual performance since it is mostly equated with loss of dignity and masculinity. There are many men who are embarrassed or reluctant to have a discussion on sexual matters with their doctors.They often just suffer in silence, which becomes a recurring nightmare. As a result, they fail to get the help that could make them resolve their erectile dysfunction problem. Impotence can always be improved with treatment.
Solutions to Erectile Dysfunction
Treatment to erectile dysfunction usually depends on the underlying health conditions of the patient as well as the cause and severity of the problem, whether psychological or physical. Here are some effective treatment options.
1. Maintaining a healthy weight
For those that are overweight, erectile problems can be alleviated through taking measures to lose and manage your weight though lifestyle change and change of eating habits.
Oral medications such as Viagra and Cialis as well as injected medications are usually successful at treating impotence for many men by increasing blood flow to the penis.
3. Exercising regularly
Regular exercise, especially aerobic exercise, is effective for the prevention and alleviation of erectile dysfunction. It is essential to have regular exercise in your routine in order to avoid ED problems before they can start.
4. Eating healthy
Since erectile problems are due to limited supply of blood to the penis, having a healthy diet especially foods that are good for the vascular system may also reduce the problem.
5. Reducing alcohol and tobacco intake
Quitting or reducing the consumption of drugs such as alcohol and tobacco can be helpful in ensuring you regain stronger erections.
6. Psychological counseling
For erectile dysfunction caused by anxiety, depression, stress or relationship issues, it may be best if you visit a counselor or psychologist. Erectile dysfunction medications won’t help you if the erection problems are not caused by a physical cause but a psychological one.
7. Penis pumps
The penis pump is a vacuum device that helps to draw blood to the penis through application of negative pressure. It usually works quite well for many men though it has some drawbacks
8. Erectile Dysfunction Surgery
Surgical repair is often a last resort solution used when other attempted treatments have failed. It can however be done to improve blood flow to the penis, thus making improvement on the erections. One common procedure entails inserting artificial rods into the penis.
Though erectile dysfunction is a source of unsatisfactory sex life, low self-esteem, anxiety and depression for many men, the good thing is that it can be avoided and alleviated mainly through having a good lifestyle. Moreover, with the many effective options for treatment available, the condition can always be managed.