WHAT IS THE MAIN CAUSE OF ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION
A male is said to have erectile dysfunction in case he regularly finds it a challenge getting or keeping a firm enough erection. This is for having sex or if this interferes in other sexual activity.
It is quite common for most men to experience some difficulty with their becoming hard or staying firm.
Although this is the case, erectile dysfunction or ED is considered a concern only when satisfactory sexual performance has not been possible on a number of trials and occasions for quite some time.
It is since Viagra or sildenafil has been discovered and it has affected penile erections. It is then that most people have become aware that erectile dysfunction is a treatable medical condition.
Often men who have this problem find it a challenge talking to a doctor or a medical specialist about this as they feel embarrassed. However, it is important to realize that this is a medical condition like any other and you should talk freely about it with your Doctor. ED is now well understood and many treatments are available for it today.
SOME IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION
ED or erectile dysfunction can be defined as a continuous and persistent challenge in maintaining an erection sufficient enough to have intercourse.
Although most of the time the causes of ED are medical many times it can also be caused due to psychological reasons.
Partaking recreational drugs, smoking, drinking and taking prescription drugs can all become the reason for erectile dysfunction or ED.
The natural causes are usually because of an underlying medical condition which affects the blood vessels or the nerves supplying the penis.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION
The main causes of erectile dysfunction are a disruption or dysfunction in blood flow and nerve supply. At times this happens because of hormones fluctuating in the body.
Mainly there are physical and psychological causes of erectile dysfunction.
PHYSICAL CAUSES OF ED
These are the physical causes of an ED:
Consuming Alcohol, Smoking and partaking recreational drugs
Hormonal dysfunction which includes thyroid malfunction and testosterone deficiency
Having high BP or blood pressure
Metabolic syndrome and obesity
Having high cholesterol levels
Narrowing of blood vessels and heart disease
Having Parkinson’s disease
Peyronie disease which is a structural and anatomical disorder of the penis
Having multiple sclerosis
Spinal cord injury or injury to the pelvic area
Taking treatment for prostate disease
Taking radiation therapy for the pelvic area
Apart from physical causes, there are also many psychological causes of erectile dysfunction. Sometimes a man who has ED would have never had a proper erection. At times there is no physical cause of the dysfunction and the cause is completely psychological.
Some Psychological causes of ED are:
Lack of Self Esteem
Lack of confidence
Improper self-image and more
It is also important to note that many times ED is a result of a combination of physical and psychological causes. And thus a proper diagnosis from a Doctor is a must to determine the causes. At times it is also helpful to consult a psychiatrist as it may be of great help.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION
Many men may not have regularly achieved an erection and if this does not happen often then, of course, it is not considered a medical ailment or ED.
It is important to note that the ED does not only mean an inability to achieve an erect penis. Some other symptoms include an inability to maintain an erect penis for a sustained period of time to complete sex or intercourse or even a problem in ejaculation.
Also many times there are emotional symptoms like shame, guilt, embarrassment, anxiety and a lessened interest in sexual intercourse.
When these symptoms occur regularly then that is a case of erectile dysfunction and needs medical attention and treatment.
WHAT ARE SOME EXERCISES TO TREAT ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION
There are in fact some special and specific exercises which a man can do to reduce the effects of erectile dysfunction and try treating it.
By strengthening the pelvic floor muscles and pursuing Kegel exercises erectile dysfunction can be well treated without medication.
These exercises are usually associated with women who are looking to strengthen their pelvic area while they are pregnant. But they can also very effective for men who want to regain full functioning of the penis.
First of all, you need to find the pelvic floor muscles. You can do this by stopping and taking a pause mid-stream two-three times during the next time you urinate. The muscles working here during this process are the pelvic muscles and they will be the focal point of the Kegel exercises.
An example of a Kegel exercise is holding and tightening these muscles for 5 seconds and then releasing them. You can repeat the exercise 10 to 20 times each day. This might be a challenge when you will first start doing the exercises but they will become easier the more you do it.
Improvements are noticeable after almost 6 weeks.
It is also important to make sure that you are breathing naturally throughout the exercise and you should avoid pushing down like you are forcing urination. You should instead bring the muscles together in a squeezing motion.
Also, a jog or even a brisk walk can be very helpful and it also helps in blood circulation and is very effective in treating ED in men.
TESTS FOR ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION
The Doctor will ask many questions before prescribing a test as there are numerous possible causes of erectile dysfunction or ED.
These tests will include a check for low testosterone, heart problems, diabetes, and other diseases. Also, a physical examination of the genitals will be carried out by the Doctor.
The doctor will then look for symptoms which have persisted for more than 3 months and then he will give his diagnosis.
Once the medical history of the patient is established the doctor will investigate further. A simple test which is also known as ‘postage stamp test’ is very useful in determining if the cause is physical rather than psychological.
Most men have 3 to 5 erections every night. The postage stamp test checks for the presence of erections at night by observing whether postage stamps applied around the penis before sleeping have snapped off overnight or not.
Some other tests include potent test and Snap-Gauge test which can be prescribed by the doctor to check for the cause of the dysfunction.
Although limited information is provided by these methods they can to a great extent help the doctor. This is in giving the right diagnosis and helping the patient cure the dysfunction.
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENTS AVAILABLE FOR ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION
A group of drugs known as PDE-5 or phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors can be taken by men to cure this dysfunction.
These pills have to be taken 30 to 60 minutes before sexual intercourse. The best known of these pills is the blue colored pill sildenafil also known as Viagra.
Some other options are:
tadalafil (taken as a once-daily pill called Cialis)
The PDE-5 inhibitors are only available through prescription. The doctor will inquire about other ailments like heart conditions and about other medication been taken before prescribing these drugs.
Although PDE-5 inhibitors are helpful, they do have their side effects.
Some side effects of PDE-5 inhibitors are:
Also, there are some less common drugs like prostaglandin E1. This can be applied locally or can be injected into the penis or by inserting it down the opening of the urethra.
While these options are available most men prefer the pill.
For men who don’t want or cannot go for drug treatments or if they find them not working. These patients can go for Vacuum erection devices which are a mechanical way of producing an erection for men.
By using a vacuum pump sealed around it that draws up blood, the penis is made rigid. This is prevented from then leaving the penis by using an accompanying band.
Because there is a lack of spontaneity while using a vacuum device. Men find other treatments for erectile dysfunction better and more preferable.
Also for men who don’t want to take the pill and avoid vacuum treatment, there is another option which is surgical treatment.
There are many surgical treatment options available, some of which are:
This surgical treatment treats and attempts to correct some blood vessel causes of erectile dysfunction.
For men who have had no success with drug treatment and vacuum treatment, this is the last and final resort.
Success rates are high but surgery is the last resort and should only be carried through if all other methods fail to cure the erectile dysfunction.
DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS/ALTERNATIVE THERAPY
Well, there are many alternative therapies available for erectile dysfunction in the market but the fact of the matter is that they do not work.
Herbal pills should be kept at bay and there is no guarantee or record which is proof that they work.
Also, many treatments promise fantastic results but come out to be fake and even harmful at the time. Thus it makes sense to stick with the normal treatments like surgical, drug and vacuum treatments.
You can buy treatment over the internet for erectile dysfunction but you should be cautious while doing so.
The United States (U.S.) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a consumer safety guide about this, including a recommendation to check that the online pharmacy:
Has a licensed pharmacist to answer questions.
is located in the U.S. and licensed
Offers direct contact with a person who can discuss any problems.
Requires a prescription.
You can check whether the pharmacy is licensed using this list of Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS).
Some tips are also offered for spotting the dangers of an unsafe medical website are also offered by the FDA and you should watch out for some clues such as:
No option to connect through a phone
Personal information is not protected
Very low and cheap prices
Drugs offered without a prescription
Also, the FDA warns that these illegal sites and vendors may send you drugs of unknown quality and origin. At times they may also send wrong drugs which can cause harm to you and thus you should be cautious.
BICYCLE RIDING AND ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION
Many males want to know whether bicycle riding can cause erectile dysfunction. Thus the question remains about the effects of bicycle riding on men’s health.
There are some researchers who have raised concerns that males who regularly cycle for long hours could have a higher risk of erectile dysfunction with other issues like prostate cancer and infertility.
According to a recent study, there is no evident connection between bicycle riding and erectile dysfunction. But they did find a connection between long hours of bicycle riding and prostate cancer.
PROSTATE DISEASE AND ED
Some men want to know whether the two, prostate disease and erectile dysfunction are related. The fact of the matter is that prostate disease does not cause erectile dysfunction.
But prostrate surgery to treat and remove cancer and radiation therapy to treat prostate cancer can cause erectile dysfunction.
Also, the treatment of non-cancerous benign prostate disease can also cause erectile dysfunctions and further complications.
ED or erectile dysfunction has become quite common recently because of many factors including stress and performance anxiety.
What has to understood by all is that it is a disorder like any other disease and can be cured using the right kind of treatment and medication.
Thus all men should realize that there is no shame in admitting it and going to a specialist to cure it as it affects many and can be cured without much complication.
The right attitude and mindset go a long way in taking the help of medical specialists and not feeling ashamed of the disorder will finally help you overcome and cure it.