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Erectile Dysfunction – What Is It? And Its Symptoms, Causes And Treatment


Erectile dysfunction is the inability to produce and maintain an erection appropriate for sexual intercourse.

It is believed that around one in every ten adult men suffers from erectile dysfunction on a long-term basis.

A person with erectile dysfunction may often struggle to achieve or maintain a strong enough erection to engage in sexual activity.

This may impact not just a sexual activity but also a person's overall quality of life.

Having occasional erection problems isn't usually a reason for alarm.

COPYRIGHT_SZ: Published on https://stationzilla.com/erectile-dysfunction/ by Dr. Cooney Blades on 2022-08-17T13:17:56.014Z

Having erectile dysfunction regularly may create stress, impact your self-confidence, and lead to relationship troubles.

Problems obtaining or maintaining an erection may also indicate an underlying health problem that requires treatment and a risk factor for heart disease.

What Is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is the inability to get or maintain a hard, adequate erection for sexual intercourse.

It's sometimes known as impotence, but this phrase is becoming less popular.

Occasional erectile dysfunction visits are not rare.

Many individuals get it when they are under stress.

Frequent erectile dysfunction visits, on the other hand, might indicate health issues that need treatment.

It could also mean that you have problems with your emotions or relationships that you should talk to a professional about.

It is essential to realize that erectile dysfunction is often a sign of a bigger, underlying problem.

Erectile dysfunction is not regarded as usual at any age.

It may be coupled with other issues that interfere with sexual intercourse, such as lack of desire, orgasm, and ejaculatory difficulties.

Ask Mayo Clinic: Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction Causes

ED may arise due to issues at any step of the erection process.

An erection is caused by increased blood flow to the penis.

Sexual thoughts or physical contact with your penis will frequently increase blood flow.

When a person with a penis becomes sexually stimulated, a muscle inside the penis' blood vessels relaxes.

This increases blood flow via the penile arteries, filling two chambers inside the penis.

The penis becomes stiff when the chambers fill with blood.

When the muscles in the blood vessels flex, the collected blood can flow through the penile veins.

Causes Of Physical Erectile Dysfunction

In many situations, erectile dysfunction is caused by a physical problem. Typical reasons include:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Blood vessel occlusion (atherosclerosis)
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Blood pressure is high.
  • Diabetes Obesity
  • metabolic syndrome - High blood pressure, high insulin levels, abdominal fat, and high cholesterol are all symptoms of metabolic syndrome.
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Prescription medications
  • Tobacco consumption
  • Peyronie's disease is characterized by the formation of scar tissue inside the penis.
  • Alcoholism and other types of drug misuse
  • Sleep problems
  • Prostate cancer and enlarged prostate treatments include
  • Surgery or damage to the pelvic region or spinal cord
  • Low testosterone levels

Causes Of Psychological Erectile Dysfunction

The brain is crucial in initiating the cascade of physical processes that lead to an erection, beginning with sensations of sexual arousal.

Various factors might disrupt sexual sensations and cause or aggravate erectile dysfunction.

These are some examples:

  • Depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
  • Relationship issues are caused by stress, poor communication, or other issues.

How To Diagnose Erectile Dysfunction

A doctor often requires a physical exam and medical history to diagnose erectile dysfunction and propose a treatment plan for many patients.

If you have persistent health problems or your doctor feels that an underlying issue is at work, you may need more testing or a meeting with a specialist.

Underlying condition tests may include:

  • Physical examination: This could involve a careful look at your penis and testicles as well as a test to see how sensitive your nerves are.
  • Blood tests: A lab can look for heart disease, diabetes, low testosterone levels, and other health problems in a blood sample.
  • Urine examinations: Urine tests, like blood tests, detect diabetes and other underlying health issues.
  • Ultrasound: A professional typically conducts this exam in an office. A wand-like device (transducer) is held over the blood arteries that feed the penis. It generates a video picture that your doctor may use to determine whether you have blood flow issues.
  • Psychological evaluation: Your doctor may ask you questions to rule out depression and other psychological reasons for erectile dysfunction.

Erectile Dysfunction Symptoms

The most frequent symptoms of erectile dysfunction are trouble achieving an erection and problems maintaining an erection during sexual activity.

Other ED-related sexual problems include:

  • Anorgasmia, or the failure to attain orgasm following enough stimulation
  • Premature ejaculation
  • Delayed ejaculation

Suppose you experience any of these symptoms, mainly if they have persisted for 3 months or more, see your doctor.

They may assist you in determining if your symptoms are the result of an underlying ailment that needs treatment.

A couple on the bed while the man has an erectile dysfunction problem
A couple on the bed while the man has an erectile dysfunction problem

Erectile Dysfunction And Diabetes

Diabetes and erectile dysfunction can co-occur. According to a 2014 study, the chance of acquiring erectile dysfunction is roughly 50%.

Diabetes is a trusted source for guys. But why is this the case?

Diabetes has an impact on how your body handles glucose.

Excess glucose may be discovered in your blood when your body does not store glucose appropriately, resulting in high blood sugar.

Diabetes is classified into two types: type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.

High sugar levels in the blood may cause harm to the blood vessels and nerves.

This injury could also hurt the blood vessels and nerves near the penis, making it hard to get or keep an erection.

How To Treat Erectile Dysfunction

You may have many therapy choices depending on the origin and degree of erectile dysfunction and any underlying health concerns.

Your doctor will explain each therapy's risks and advantages and consider your choices.

Your partner's tastes may also influence your treatment decisions.

Oral Medications

For many men, oral medicines are an effective erectile dysfunction therapy. They are as follows:

  • Sildenafil (Viagra)
  • Tadalafil (Adcirca, Cialis)
  • Avanafil Vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn) (Stendra)

All four drugs improve the effects of nitric oxide, a natural substance produced by your body that relaxes penile muscles.

This boosts blood flow, allowing you to get an erection in response to sexual stimulation.

Other Medicines

Other erectile dysfunction drugs include:

  • Self-injection of alprostadil
  • Alprostadil urethral suppository
  • Testosterone replacement

Penis Pumps

A penis pump is a hollow tube that contains a hand or battery-powered pump.

The tube is wrapped around your penis, and the pump is used to extract the air.

This produces a vacuum, which draws blood into your penis.

Bruising the penis is a potential adverse effect, and the band will inhibit ejaculation.

Penile Implants

This procedure entails surgically implanting devices on both sides of the penis.

These implants are made using inflated or flexible (bendable) rods.

You can manage when and how long you get an erection using inflatable devices.

The flexible rods support your penis while allowing it to bend.

Penile implants are typically not indicated until all other options have been exhausted.

Those who have tried and failed more conservative therapy are satisfied with implants.

Complications, such as infection, are possible with any operation.

If you have a urinary tract infection, you should avoid having penile implant surgery.


In recent research, exercise, mainly moderate to strenuous aerobic activity, has improved erectile dysfunction.

Regular, less severe exercise may lessen the risk of erectile dysfunction.

Increasing your level of exercise may also help to lower your risk.

Psychological Counseling

If your erectile dysfunction is caused by stress, anxiety, or depression, or if the condition is causing stress and relationship strain, your doctor may advise you to see a psychologist or counselor.

Lifestyle And Home Remedies

For many individuals, lifestyle decisions cause or aggravate erectile dysfunction.

Here are some steps that may be useful:

  • Quit smoking if you smoke.
  • Get rid of unwanted weight.
  • Make physical exercise a part of your everyday routine.
  • Seek help for alcohol or drug abuse.
  • Work out any relationship concerns.

Coping And Assistance

Erectile dysfunction may be a source of mental and emotional stress for you and your spouse, regardless of whether the reason is medical, psychological, or a mix of the two.

Don't think of erection difficulties as a sign of your health or manhood, and don't anticipate experiencing them again during your next sexual session.

This might generate worry, which can aggravate erectile dysfunction.

Your lover may see your failure to erect as a sign of lost sexual desire.

Your confirmation that this is not the case may be beneficial.

Discuss your situation frankly and honestly.

When you engage your spouse in your treatment, your chances of success increase.

Don't dismiss stress, anxiety, or other mental health issues.

To address these concerns, speak with your doctor or mental health professional.

People Also Ask

What Is The Main Cause Of Erectile Dysfunction In Old Age?

Conditions restricting blood supply to the penis are the most prevalent causes of erectile dysfunction in older men.

These include artery stiffening (atherosclerosis) and diabetes.

Another possible reason is a defective vein that allows blood to drain too fast from the penis.

What Is The Fastest Way To Cure Erectile Dysfunction?

For the fastest results, it's best to consult a doctor to get appropriate treatment recommendations, which may include:

  • Changes in lifestyle by maintaining a healthy weight
  • Counseling
  • Medications
  • Vacuum constriction devices
  • Surgery
  • Alternative treatment

How Can You Fix Your Erectile Dysfunction?

Here are some steps that may be useful:

  • Quit smoking if you smoke. Get assistance if you are having difficulty quitting.
  • Get rid of unwanted weight. Obesity may cause or aggravate erectile dysfunction.
  • Make physical exercise a part of your everyday routine.
  • Seek help for alcohol or drug abuse.
  • Sort out your relationship problems.

What Is The Main Cause Of Erectile Dysfunction?

Organic erectile dysfunction is the most prevalent cause of erectile dysfunction, particularly in older men, and includes abnormalities in the penile arteries, veins, or both.

When there is an arterial issue, it is generally caused by arteriosclerosis or artery hardening.

However, trauma to the arteries may also be the reason.


Erectile dysfunction occurs when a man cannot maintain a full erection regularly.

The illness is prevalent, affecting around 20 million Americans.

A person can get erectile dysfunction because of something physical, like high cholesterol, or mental, like nervousness about doing well in bed.

A doctor may suggest different ways to treat erectile dysfunction, such as taking prescription drugs or, in rare cases, having surgery.

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About The Authors

Dr. Cooney Blades

Dr. Cooney Blades

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