The fact that erectile dysfunction is largely a problem that is ignored by men, it may be that some serious health issues are going undiscovered; erectile dysfunction can be caused by many physical and psychological factors that may require urgent attention
Erectile dysfunction is defined as ‘the inability to achieve or maintain an erection long enough to have sexual intercourse’. In a normal situation, an erection is achieved when a specific sequence of events occurs. Firstly, sexual arousal will cause the brain to send nerve impulses to the penis. The nerve stimulus will result in the blood vessels to the penis increasing the blood flow whilst the vessels taking the blood away will constrict reducing the blood flow away from the penis. This will cause the spongy tissue in the penis to become engorged with blood and so make the penis stiff and stand proud of the body - an erection. If any of the factors involved in this process are disrupted, that is, the arousal, nerve stimulation, or blood flow, it is likely that erectile dysfunction will follow.
How a man's health can affect healthy erectile function can be separated into the physical and emotional or psychological problems
There are a variety of emotional problems that may contribute to erectile dysfunction. It may be that it becomes a vicious circle when emotional issues begin the ED but then the |ED itself generates its own psychological problems with feelings of worthlessness, lack of confidence, and even shame.
Some conditions that may cause ED are:
It may also be that some of the medications that are given for the psychological problems exacerbate the ED. These would include some anti-depressants, tranquillizers and muscle relaxants
It may be that you are already aware that you are suffering from a condition that has ED as a side effect but there are a number of conditions of which ED can be an early symptom:
We also need to consider how lifestyle issues can affect our health and so how they may also affect erectile function:
When it comes to the psychological causes for ED, it may be that depression and anxiety can be treated with medication but we need to remember that some medications associated with these problems can actually cause erectile dysfunction
Aside from that, there are a variety of counselling options to consider relationship counselling to psychosexual therapy. Your GP will help you decide which type of practitioner will be able to help
When it comes to treating ED when there are physical causes present, if the physical cause is treated then the ED which was a symptom will probably correct itself.
If for any reason the ED symptoms persist there are medications designed to help with the symptoms. These medications are designed to increase the blood flow to the penis in order to facilitate an erection. They are known as PDE inhibitors and include brands such as Viagra (sildenafil) and Cialis (tadalafil)
Find out more about the treatments mentioned in this article below:
Effective for up to 4 hours
For daily or intermittent use
Effective for up to 5 hours
Works in 15-30 minutes
Sildenafil, Tadalafil, Vardenafil
Over the counter treatment
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