Erectile dysfunction, or male impotence as it is otherwise known, is the inability to achieve and maintain an erection during sexual intercourse. An inability to maintain an erection is a problem only ever associated with males, due to obvious reasons; the female equivalent is female sexual dysfunction.
What is erectile dysfunction?
An erection occurs when blood flows into spongy vessels within the penis. This process is generally instigated by sexual arousal, which can be caused by various stimuli and is transmitted from the brain to the nerves, to the penis. Erectile dysfunction causes this process to break, effectively stopping the patient from being able to maintain an erection. The most common causes are the narrowing of the blood vessels in the penis, which is something usually caused by diabetes, stroke or high cholesterol. Psychological issues and peyronie's disease are also common causes.
Is it a common Issue?
Many do not realise just how common erectile dysfunction actually is. It affects about half of all men between the ages 40-70, but many do not admit to it or take any medical actions due to the nature of the condition.
Erectile discomfort is not a black or white condition. This is because you might be able to get an erection during some occasions, but you might be totally unable during others. For example, some patients have no trouble achieving an erection during masturbation, but are unable to maintain an erection during intercourse with a partner. In other circumstances, patients find that they make wake up with an erection or develop one in public without any obvious stimulation, but during intercourse or masturbation are unable.
As a rule of thumb, if you are able to get erect during some occasions, the problem is mental. If you’re unable to get an erection at any time, the problem is purely psychical or a cause of hypogonadism.
Getting Medical Advice
Seeking medical advice is extremely important for a number of reasons. To start with, the reason for the dysfunction may be related to a more serious medical condition. A doctor can just use the condition to discover something more dangerous.
It is also important to note that an active sexual life is extremely important for a person’s overall wellbeing, not to mention important for relationships.
Seeking medical advice for erectile dysfunction might seem daunting and embarrassing, but be aware that doctors are always keen to serve your best interests and always act in a professional manor, with confidentiality and helpful attention/advice.
It is worth mentioning that there are quite a few websites offering ‘quick fixes’ and ‘wonder solutions’. These sites seldom offer any real solutions to erectile dysfunction, and it is always important to talk to your doctor before taking/using anything sold online.
There are various treatments to erectile discomfort, but the on you will receive is dependent on what the underlying cause of your problem is. Below are the different treatments available for different root causes:
Treating an underlying issues
In some cases, it may be possible to actually treat erectile dysfunction by curing the underlying cause(s). In other cases, the underlying problem may be addresses first, then the erectile dysfunction secondly. Doctors and medical professionals will usually try to fix the root problem first.
If your erectile dysfunction is related to hormones, you will be referred to an endocrinologist. An endocrinologist is a medical professional that specialised in hormone conditions. Your endocrinologist may give you an injection to restore your hormone levels if they are low.
Basic lifestyle alterations
Like with most medical conditions, erectile dysfunction can be treated and cured by simply changing the way you live your life. Below are the main ways in which you can make lifestyle changes that may have a strong impact on fixing your condition:
Losing weight: erectile dysfunction is often caused by being overweight; therefore, it is wise to make sure your body is in a good condition! In order to lose weight, try to reduce your daily calorie intake and attempt to undertake at least 30 minutes of vigorous exercise each day.
Give up smoking: many associate smoking with conditions such as cancer and stroke, but do not immediately associate it with erectile dysfunction.
Reduce stress: To many this may seem trivial and difficult, but it is one of the most common causes of erectile dysfunction. Consider seeing a stress management specialist if you are having difficulties.
Alcohol: There is a strong link between alcohol consumption and erectile dysfunction, so make sure you limit the amount you drink.
Steroids: Testosterone injections, for muscle growth, tell the body to stop producing a natural supply, which is what gives men a sex drive.