Erectile Dysfunction

erectile dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Erectile dysfunction!! Though it sounds scary is a common medical problem evidenced in adult men who are unable to get or maintain an erection long enough for sexual intercourse. An outrageous fact on erectile dysfunction is approximately 15% adult men round the globe experience this problem every year. On the other hand, a recent study revealed that in 1995, more than 150 million men worldwide suffered from ED, and this number is expected to increase to 320 million by 2025. Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety are factors that influence the development of ED. According to the latest research, men age between 40 and 70 years are diagnosed with ED. Some of the common symptoms of this disorder are premature ejaculation, delayed ejaculation and anorgasmia. Avanafil (Stendra), Sildenafil (Viagra), Alprostadil (Caverject, Edex, MUSE) are certain medications prescribed by doctors to treat ED. Depending upon the criticality of this illness, doctors prescribe talk therapy, vacuum pumps, and even exercises. A 2010 study on men aged between 24 to 60 with ED were found to have their sexual performance significantly improved after a 12-week yoga program.

Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

Since male sexual arousal is a complex process involving the brain, hormones, emotions, nerves, muscles and blood vessels, physical or psychological problems or a combination of these can cause ED.

Physical causes of erectile dysfunction

Some of the most common physical causes of ED are listed below:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Type2 Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Stroke
  • Clogged blood vessels (atherosclerosis)
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Alcoholism and other forms of substance abuse
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Epilepsy
  • Sleep disorders
  • Penile fracture.
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Pelvic surgery
  • Low testosterone

Psychological causes of erectile dysfunction

Human brain plays a key role in triggering the feelings of sexual excitement. A number of psychological factors can reduce or worsen such excitement leading to erectile dysfunction in men.

Some of the common psychological causes for ED are given below:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Low self-esteem
  • Stress
  • Fear of sexual failure or intimacy (genophobia).
  • Stress, communication gap or other concerns leading to relationship problems.

Symptoms of erectile dysfunction

Common symptoms experienced by men suffering from erectile dysfunction are given below:

  • Rare erection before intercourse
  • Failure to preserve an erection during sexual intercourse
  • Complete inability to achieve an erection
  • A lot of stimulation needed to maintain an erection.

Treatment for erectile dysfunction

Before commencing any treatment for this disorder, doctors for ED investigate the underlying cause. Some of the more common ED treatments are listed below:

Cardiovascular exercise: Cardiovascular works out such as brisk strolling, running, swimming, bicycling, etc for at slightest 45 minutes three times per  can help reduce mild ED.

Quitting smoking: Doctors for erectile dysfunction prescribe quitting smoking in men to get improved results after few months.

Talk Therapy: Psychological factors, e.g. anxiety, stress, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can contribute to ED, and in such a situation, ED doctors choose talk therapy as one of the treatments. In such type of treatment, doctors discuss about major stress or anxiety factors, an individual’s feelings on sex, subconscious conflicts that could be affecting an individual’s sexual well-being.

Oral medications: Erectile dysfunction doctors usually prescribe drugs such as sildenafil (Viagra®), vardenafil (Levitra®), tadalafil (Cialis®) or avanafil (Stendra®) that help increase blood flow to the penis, resulting in delayed erections. Such medicines start working within an hour of consumption.

Penile low-intensity focused shockwave therapy (LiSWT): This non-invasive treatment is prescribed by doctors for ED to improve blood flow in the penis by using sound waves. Such treatment shows results within two months of initiation.

Medications injected directly into penis to create an erection: Injectable medicines namely, alprostadil (Caverject®), papaverine (Papacon®), phentolamine (Regitine®) or a combination of these are at time prescribed by doctors for ED for better results. Such medicines start working within 10 minutes of injection.

Vacuum constriction device (penis pump): In this treatment, doctors for erectile dysfunction uses a penis pump to create a vacuum to stimulate erection by drawing blood into the penis and preventing it from returning to circulation. Such devices start working immediately.

Testosterone replacement therapy: This treatment is applied to increase libido and energy level, bone density, strength and muscle. In this treatment, injections, pellets, patches or gels are applied which starts showing results within four weeks.

Penile implant procedure: In this treatment doctors for erectile dysfunction place a device into the penis to make it hard without affecting sensation, peeing or orgasm

Erectile dysfunction exercises

Certain exercises can help reduce ED.

Kegel exercises: These exercises are prescribed by doctor for erectile dysfunction to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles of adult men. The procedure involves stop peeing midstream, the pelvic floor muscles are involved in this activity, the patient has to contract these muscles for 3 seconds and finally release them. Doctors recommend repeating this procedure 10-20 times consecutively three times a day to achieve better results.

Aerobic exercises: Moderate to vigorous aerobic exercises will not only improve overall health of an individual, it will also increase blood circulation in the whole body including the penis. When a review was conducted in the year 2018 on the effects of aerobic exercise on ED, it was observed that by executing aerobic exercise for 160 minutes per week for a period of six months reduce ED.

Yoga: Doctor for erectile dysfunction prescribe yoga to their patients to relax their mind and body which in turn will reduce stress and anxiety which play major role in ED.

Erectile dysfunction natural treatments

Herbs and supplements: Certain herbs and supplements viz. shatavari, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), Korean red ginseng, L-carnitine, Horny goat weed, yohimbe help cure or reduce erectile dysfunction.

Erectile dysfunction is growing at an exponential rate among young individuals day by day. A fast lifestyle, irregular and junk food habits, smoking, and alcohol consumption are the main contributors for this disorder among men. Several treatment options are available in the market nowadays, but doctors for erectile dysfunction advise leading a healthy lifestyle, maintaining hygienic food habits, doing regular exercise, and a sound sleep to stay away from all such lifestyle sexual disorders. Tulasi Healthcare is a group of mental health establishments and rehabilitation center that offer treatment for sexual disorders.

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