Erectile dysfunction or impotency is the inability to attain or maintain an erection of the penis sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance. This most common sexual disorder can occur and affect men of any age. Small periods of erectile difficulties are not uncommon and there is nothing to be worries about.
However, if the problem persists for longer duration (weeks or months), then medical help is required. Recent data has indicated that the prevalence of erectile dysfunction of any degree is 39% in men 40 years old, and 67% in those aged 70 years.
There are various and often multiplying underlying causes of ED. Many medical and psychological factors are responsible for development of ED. The most important organic causes are heart diseases (high cholesterol levels and hypertension) and diabetes. Both these conditions cause narrowing of arteries and veins in the penis, thereby affecting the blood flow.
Other causes include decreased levels of testosterone, trauma to the pelvis and bladder; high intake of unhealthy diet; medications (anti-depressanrs and tranquilizers), high consumption of alcohol, imbalance in hormone levels and low fiber diet. Psychological factors including stress, depression, anxiety, relationship issues and performance pressure are also responsible for causing erectile dysfunction.
Diagnosis is made on the basis of complete sexual, medical and psychosocial history. Your physician will ask details about this delicate topic to assess the condition and rule out other medical causes. Investigations like blood tests for evaluating your hormone levels, glucose and thyroid function are done. Once these tests are done, your doctor will perform penile or pelvic blood flow studies. Penile function is evaluated by directly injecting PGE1 in to the penis.
Apart from putting strain on your relationship with your partner, erectile dysfunction for a longer time can cause low self-esteem. Therefore, the first thing is to consult and talk about the problem in detail with your doctor. He will assess the situation and try to find out the physical cause, if any, behind the problem.
In 75% of the cases, it is due to the physical causes. Psychosocial counselling is an important part of the treatment during which any emotional or sexual issues are discussed with therapist. If anxiety or stress is known to be causing erectile dysfunction, sessions with sex therapist help in solving the issue.
There are many reasonable treatment options ranging from oral medications to hormonal injections to surgical methods. If erectile dysfunction is due to any existing medical conditions like diabetes or heart diseases, treatment is given accordingly. If it is due to the prescribed medicines, talk to your doctor about any alternative medicine that can be taken.
Making small changes in your lifestyle can reduce ED symptoms. This includes reducing bodyweight, increasing physical activity, reducing the intake of alcohol and avoiding mental stress. Medications used for treating ED are known as Phosphodiestarase-5 (PDE-5) inhibitors. These include Viagra, MaleExtra, Performer5, Levitra and Cialis.
The action of these medications is similar to nitric acid, causing relaxation of penis muscles and increasing blood flow. This leads to harder and stronger erections. However, these medications are taken after talking to your physician as they are not advisable in patients with heart diseases and diabetes.
Hormonal injections and vacuum pumps are recommended in some cases where the medications are not advisable.
Male sexual dysfunction is a very disturbing condition for the victim. It can lead to ejaculation disorders, inhibited sexual desire, and erectile dysfunction which can worsen one’s self esteem and social skills. All these can further lead to a worsened low self esteem, depression and even withdrawal. The ultimate result of this is broken relationships, divorce, and separation.
In order to understand the best way to treat sexual dysfunction in a man, it is better to start with an understanding of it causes. There are two main causes of this dysfunction. These include physical factors and psychological factors.
The physical factors include injuries to the reproductive system as well as medical conditions, which include diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, hormonal imbalances, neurological disorders, alcoholism, drug abuse and chronic diseases like kidney or liver failure. Some medications taken as prescriptions for certain ailments may also reduce sexual desire and function.
The psychological causes, on the other hand, include stress (work related or otherwise), relationship or marital problems, sexual performance concerns, feelings of guilt, depression, and the effects of a former sexual trauma like rape or forced masturbation.
In order to treat sexual dysfunction in a man, it is important to focus on the underlying causes before you even get a prescription drug or medication for it. Overcoming this underlying cause holds the key to full recovery from this disorder.
There are different approaches, however, that are used to treat this disorder. Below are the most common ones;
Simply put, the major treatment for male sexual dysfunction is a right attitude towards sex. Its primarily in the brain. Open communication with your sex partner is the basic key to resolving your sexual dysfunction problem.