Erectile dysfunction is a severe health complication that is common among men aged 40 and above. It is an individual’s inability to keep an erection firm enough while having sexual intercourse. ED can also be defined as experiencing difficulty in achieving and maintaining an erection needed to have a satisfactory sex life.
Usually, ED is a temporary problem men experience under stress; however, if the issue persists, it indicates a health problem that needs to be treated. If you fail to keep an erection that lasts long enough or is not rigid enough for sex, you have erectile dysfunction.
Men experiencing erectile dysfunction may hesitate in talking to a doctor because they find it embarrassing. Let’s look at some erectile dysfunction facts together. Erectile dysfunction may lead to stress, destroy the relationship with your partner, and shatter your self-confidence. Hence, if you face this problem, do not let embarrassment stop you from consulting your doctor on the issue.
Let’s discuss some of the notable symptoms associated with erectile dysfunction.
Erectile dysfunction symptoms
Following are some of the symptoms associated with erectile dysfunction.
- Experiencing difficulty in getting an erection
- Reduced sexual desire
- Difficulty in maintaining an erection while having sex
- Premature or delayed ejaculation
- Difficulty in achieving orgasm after sufficient stimulation
Some men might exhibit emotional symptoms as well, which include:
- Lack of self-confidence
If you experience any of these symptoms, do not hesitate to contact a healthcare professional, especially if the symptoms last for three or more months. The healthcare professional will identify your signs and identify if an underlying condition exists and requires treatment.
Erectile dysfunction causes
The sexual desire in a man arises from the brain, hormones, emotions, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels. ED can occur due to a problem in any of these areas. Stress and mental health concerns can also lead to ED. In short, erectile dysfunction is caused by a combination of psychological and physical conditions.
Let’s discuss some of the physical causes which lead to ED.
Physical causes of ED
The following is a list of physical causes of ED.
- Heart diseases
- Elevated blood pressure
- Clogged blood vessels
- High cholesterol
- Kidney problems
- Parkinson’s disease
- Consistent smoking
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Metabolic syndrome, i.e., high cholesterol, high insulin levels, high blood pressure, body fat around the waist
- Peyronie’s disease, i.e., the development of scar tissue inside your penis
- Low testosterone
Psychological causes of ED
Your brain plays a vital role in triggering physical events that lead to an erection. Numerous factors can interfere with sexual feelings and worsen ED. These psychological issues include:
- Stress and anxiety
- Relationship issues (poor communication or lack of interest in each other)
- Mental health concerns
- Fear of intimacy
Prescription medications can also cause ED. Some of these medications include:
- Heart medications, including digoxin
- Hormone drugs
- Medicines for the central nervous system
- Medicines used for treating anxiety
- Antidepressants including monoamine oxidase inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, etc.
- Sleeping pills and amphetamines
- Cancer drugs
- Prostate treatment drugs
ED mainly occurs due to an overlap of medical and psychological causes. For example, if a person is obese, blood flood changes may help maintain an erection for him, which is a physical cause. However, this person may also have reduced self-esteem, which impacts his erectile functioning, which is a psychological cause.
Hence, you must consult a doctor if you are experiencing any issues related to ED. The doctor will help you identify the cause and suggest subsequent treatment.
Erectile dysfunction tests
ED tests involve multiple steps, including a physical examination along with analyzing your health and sexual history. Additionally, several more tests are conducted to determine if an underlying condition is causing your symptoms.
While conducting a physical exam, the doctor listens to your heart and lungs, monitors your blood pressure, and examines your testicle and penis. Furthermore, the healthcare professional may also request a rectal exam to check your prostate.
The doctor will ask you to fill out a questionnaire regarding your symptoms to gather information on your psychosocial history.
Some of the questions asked include:
- How long have you been experiencing this issue?
- Are you experiencing issues with sexual desire, reaching orgasm, or ejaculating?
- How often do you have sex? Has your frequency changed abruptly?
- Do you wake up during the night with erections?
- Are you experiencing stress?
- Which medications are you taking?
The responses to these questions will make it easier for the healthcare professional to evaluate the severity of ED.
The healthcare professional may request a few more tests that will ease the diagnosis. These tests include:
- Nocturnal Penile Tumescence (NPT)
- Injection Test
- Urine Test
- Blood Test
Treatment of erectile dysfunction
ED treatment usually depends on the underlying cause. Different treatment options are available. Let’s discuss them.
Doctors recommend several medications that help in managing the symptoms of ED. Usually, these medications are taken half an hour before having sex. These medications help treat ED by stimulating blood flow to your penis. Some of the commonly used drugs are:
- Sildenafil (Viagra)
Vacuum pumps are a means of producing an erection by taking advantage of a mechanical device. Such devices are specially designed for men who aren’t comfortable using drugs or for whom drugs are not working.
A vacuum pump creates a vacuum to stimulate an erection. It helps to draw blood into the penis, which eases the erection.
The following are the components of a vacuum pump.
- A plastic tube is placed over the penis.
- A pump that creates a vacuum by drawing air out of the plastic tube
Ensure that you move the elastic ring to the base of your penis while removing the plastic tube. This elastic ring helps maintain the erection by holding the blood in the penis and preventing it from returning to circulation. The ring can be left in place for about 30 minutes.
Talk therapy can play a vital role in managing ED symptoms because psychological factors such as stress, anxiety, and depression, can also contribute to ED. The best solution to these factors is talk therapy.
If you are experiencing psychological issues, consider indulging in talk therapy sessions. These sessions will allow you to:
- Manage stress and anxiety
- Discuss conflicts that might be affecting your sexual well-being
- Share your feelings regarding sex
If ED is affecting your relationship with your partner, get in touch with a relationship counselor.
Some surgical treatments are also available for curing ED. Bear in mind that surgical methods are a last resort to treat ED. These methods are practiced only when drugs or other non-invasive treatment methods have failed.
When surgical methods are implemented, the recovery time varies, but the success rate increases. Here are some of the commonly used surgical procedures.
Penile implants are devices that are placed inside a man’s penis to get an erection. This treatment method is applied to men for whom all other treatment methods have failed.
Vascular surgery operates on blood vessels that often lead to ED.
Foods that help in minimizing ED symptoms
Blood flow problems are often the cause of ED. This indicates that maintaining the health of your blood vessels can help prevent and treat ED. Healthy eating can play a significant role in improving the blood flow to your penis. Making subsequent dietary changes can help reduce ED complications.
Here are some dietary changes to consider if you are suffering from ED.
- Consume whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.
- Minimize the consumption of red meat, processed sugars, and full-fat dairy
- Skip drinking alcohol
Foods such as cocoa and watermelon may help with ED.
The following lifestyle changes can help in getting rid of ED.
- Develop a habit of regular exercise
- Dan Brule Breathing
- Manage stress and anxiety
- Take cold showers
- Practice brisk walking daily
- Lose weight
- Limit the consumption of alcohol
- Quit smoking
ED is a complicated but treatable health concern. The sooner you reach out to a healthcare professional iIf you are suffering from this issue, do not hesitate to contact a healthcare professional to sort out your problems. An alternative option is to look into Viking Man’s treatment plan. Viking Man makes it easier and accessible to get ed treatment all from the comfort of your home. You can contact us at 833-698-4546 for questions you might have.