Know all about erectile dysfunction - Causes and Treatments
What is Erectile Dysfunction?
Erectile dysfunction is one of the sexual disorder which is commonly observed in men. Erectile dysfunction (Also known as impotence) can be defined as a persisting difficulty faced by men in achieving and maintaining an erection which is sufficient to have sexual intercourse. A few times it can happen that men occasionally face difficulty with their penis becoming hard or staying erect and firm. But if a man is facing regular difficulty in maintaining firm and erect penis for sex or it is interfering with any kind of other sexual activity, it is considered as a problem of erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction can be considered as a matter of concern if the person is being deprived of sexual satisfaction or it is getting impossible for him to achieve satisfactory sexual pleasure on a number of occasions for some time.
Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
The male sexual arousal process is complex mechanism and is generally involving organs like brain, hormones, nerves, muscles blood vessels and stimuli or emotions. Erectile dysfunction can arise from any problem in any of the concerning organs or parts. Lifestyle has also an effect on Erectile Dysfunction as stress and disturbed mental health can worsen the condition. The underlying reasons for Erectile Dysfunction can be either physical cause or psychological cause. Sometimes a combination of both the physical and physiological causes can lead to issues relating to maintenance of erection.
Physical Causes of erectile dysfunction
The common physical causes that can possibly lead to Erectile Dysfunction are :
- Heart diseases
- Problem of clogged blood vessel
- High cholesterol level in the body
- High blood pressure
- Use of tobacco
- Use of certain prescription medicines
- Metabolic syndrome which is a condition with high blood pressure, increased level of insulin, high cholesterol and high amount of accumulated fat around the waist.
- Any surgery or injury that affected the pelvic region of the body
- Treatment for prostate cancer or enlarged prostate gland
- Insomnia or sleep disorders
- Drug abuse or addiction
Psychological causes of erectile dysfunction
As brain plays an important role in triggering those series of actions that causes erection in response to an stimuli or arousal. Feelings of sexual excitement can be interfered by a number of psychological factors which can worsen the condition of erectile dysfunction. Those factors are as follows:
- Unstable or disturbed mental health
- Problem in relationship with your partner due to poor communication or other concerns
- Anxiety of performing sexual act
Treatments of Erectile Dysfunction
There are various treatment options available to cure the problem of erectile dysfunction in males. One should consult the physician to discuss the severity of the problem and the most suitable treatment option that can be adopted to treat the condition. There are majorly five ways to proceed with the treatment of erectile dysfunction :
- Changes in lifestyle
- Erectile dysfunction pills
- Injectables and suppositories
- Devices to correct erectile dysfunction
- Natural methods of treatment of impotence
1. Changes in Lifestyle
Most often if there is no underlying physical cause or damage to the penis or the pelvic region doctor may recommend to adopt a change in our lifestyle to improve or reduce the condition of erectile dysfunction. The lifestyle changes can include :
- Quit the habit of smoking
- Limit alcohol intake or total abstinence from alcohol consumption
- Increased level of physical activity
- Maintaining a healthy body weight
- Stop illegal use of drugs or drug abuse
- Give up addiction to drugs
The patient can seek the help of doctors or physicians if they are finding it difficult to make changes in their lifestyle.
If stress, anxiety and mental conditions are becoming the hurdle in achieving the desired sexual satisfaction by increasing the incidence of erectile dysfunction, one should consult a counsellor. The doctor will refer you to a counsellor if psychological and emotional issues are affecting the maintenance and sustenance of your erection. The counsellor will help you by teaching you ways to lower the anxiety or stress while having sex. They can also assist to find the solution of the disturbed medical condition which can be a contributing factor towards erectile dysfunction. It is always advisable to be accompanied by your partner while you are visiting a counsellor for better assistance and support.
3. Erectile dysfunction pills
The most common method and first line of treatment to be used to treat the cases of erectile dysfunction are oral pills and tablets. They should be taken under strict consultation of a registered medical practitioner or a healthcare professional. These drugs generally show its reaction by relaxing the smooth muscles and increasing blood flow in the penile region during sexual stimulation. These drugs act only on sexual stimulation and not only on mere administration. Some commonly used oral pills for the treatment of erectile dysfunction are :
- Sildenafil which is sold under the brand name of Viagra, Kamagra, Penegra etc
- Vardenafil which is sold under the brand name of Levitra, Staxyn
- Tadalafil which is sold under the brand name of Cialis
- Avanafil which is sold under the brand name of Stendra
These drugs should be taken approximately one hour prior to involving in any kind of sexual activity. While taking these medications one should cautious if they are suffering from heart-related disorders, hepatic and renal impairment. Patients should avoid using these drugs if they are taking drugs like nitrates, alpha-blockers, etc.
The physician can also prescribe testosterone if low levels of it is found in the blood, which can also be a cause of erectile dysfunction.
4. Injectables and suppositories
In many patients, erection can be achieved immediately by using injectable medicine which is known as Alprostadil. Injecting this drug causes an ample amount of blood to fill the penis which gives a strong erection for a longer period of time.
For those patients who fear injections or are uncomfortable with syringes, suppository of Alprostadil is a better alternative route of medication.the suppository preparation is usually deposited in the urethral region with the help of an applicator. The suppositories begin its action within 8 to 10 minutes and it lasts upto 30 to 60 minutes.
An alternate method to correct erectile dysfunction is use of vacuum device. This device is used to cause an erection by pulling the blood into the penis making it hard. This device consists of three parts -
- A plastic tube which is to be put around the penis
- A pump which is used to draw air out of the tube in order to create a vacuum
- An elastic ring which ids to be moved from the end to base of the penis while removing the tube.
The elastic ring is used to maintain the erection but remove the ring after intercourse to attain normal circulation.
For some patients, surgery remains the last resort to correct the problem of erectile dysfunction. A urologist should be consulted for performing this surgery which involves implanting a device to make the penis erect or rebuild the penile arteries to increase the level of blood flow in the penile region.
7. Natural methods to treat erectile dysfunction
There are several natural methods which can be helpful to cure erectile dysfunction without using any medication or undergoing any surgical procedure. Some of the best and effective methods are as follows :
- Start walking: A walk of just 30 minutes can lead to 41% drop in the possible risk of Erectile Dysfunction.
- Eat right: Eating a diet which includes natural foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish decreases the likelihood of erectile dysfunction.
- Good vascular health: Penile dysfunction is also caused by high blood pressure, high blood sugar level, high cholesterol and high triglyceride. Thus maintaining a good shape and vascular health to keep erectile dysfunction at bay.
- Avoid being obese: An obese man is more at risk of erectile dysfunction rather than a man with slim waistline. So getting a healthy weight and maintaining it another good strategy for avoiding or fixing erectile dysfunction.
- Pelvic exercises: A strong pelvic region enhances the rigidity of the region making it possible to maintain erection and helps to keep the blood level into the penis and not allowing them to leave the region.