The Hard Facts on Erectile Dysfunction

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Author: Trivesh Vassen

WHAT IS ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION?

Bluntly put, Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is the inability to get or maintain an erection long enough to have sexual intercourse.

While most men would deny it, studies have shown ¾ of all men have been unable to achieve an erection at some point. However, ED is only an issue when it occurs more often than not. It could be a sign of an underlying health, psychological, or relationship issue that requires the assistance of a professional.

WHAT CAUSES ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION?

There are countless possible reasons a man might suffer from ED, both physical and emotional. The most common causes include:

  • Damaged or non-functioning nerves caused injuries to the nerves or even diabetes
  • Damage to the heart and blood vessels
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Over tiredness and fatigue
  • Surgery involving the prostate gland
  • Stress/Anxiety/Depression
  • Consistent and excessive use of illicit drugs, alcohol and/or tobacco
  • Certain prescribed prescription medications. Including some of those used to deal with diabetes and high blood pressure

 

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION?

You may have ED if you regularly have:

  • trouble getting an erection
  • difficulty maintaining an erection during sexual activities
  • reduced interest in sex

 

HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU HAVE ED?

There are a number of different tests that can be conducted to help you determine if you suffer from erectile dysfunction.

Physical exam

This will be conducted by a medical doctor who will listen to your heart and lungs. They may also take your blood pressure and physically examine your testicles and penis. In certain instances, they may even perform a rectal exam to check your prostate.

Psychological evaluation

A psychologist or psychiatrist will question you about your health, sexual health and the symptoms you suffer from. The answers to these will help them to decide if you suffer from ED and just how severe your particular case of ED may be.

If the doctor is still unsure, they may choose to perform any of the following tests:

  • Ultrasound – can be used to examine the blood vessels of the penis to determine if is a blood flow problem in the area
  • Nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT) test you may be asked to wear a portable, battery-powered device, which will record and evaluate the quantity and quality of erections you have while asleep
  • Injection test – the doctor will inject a medication directly into your penis that stimulates an erection, allowing them to evaluate the strength and stamina of your erections
  • Urine tests – the doctor may take a sample of urine and then check it for signs of diabetes or other health concerns
  • Blood tests – like with the urine test, the doctor will take a sample of blood and test it for signs of diabetes, heart disease, thyroid issues, and low levels of testosterone


WHAT TREATMENTS ARE THERE FOR ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION?

ED Medications (ED Pills)

There are a number of medications that may be prescribed to help manage the symptoms of ED

Your doctor may prescribe medication to help you manage the symptoms of ED. You may need to try several medications before you find one that works. The following oral medications stimulate blood flow to your penis to help treat ED:

  • Oral medications
    • avanafil (Stendra)
    • sildenafil (Viagra)
    • tadalafil (Cialis)
    • vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn)
  • Testosterone therapy (TRT)
    • TRT may be suggested by doctors who suspect that ED may be caused by low levels of testosterone
  • Penile self-injections
    • Alprostadil, papaverine, and phentolamine may be injected into the base of the penis, giving you the ability to obtain and maintain an erection for up to 40 minutes
  • Urethral suppository
    • A tiny suppository is placed within the penile urethra, using a special applicator, and results resulting in an erection after 10 minutes that can last up to 60 minutes

ALTERNATIVE TREATMENTS FOR ED

  • Vacuum pump
  • Penis rings
  • Herbs and supplements
  • Lifestyle changes

QUICK FACTS ABOUT ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION

  • Erectile dysfunction was previously known as impotence
  • ED can be caused by depression and low self-esteem
  • 30 million men in the United States currently suffer from erectile dysfunction
  • 90% of those suffering from ED, never go for treatment
  • Erectile Dysfunction can be used as a barometer to judge a person’s cardiovascular health
  • In a recent study on ED
    • 68% of participants didn’t bring the subject up with their doctor for fear of embarrassment
    • 76% of participants thought that there is no medical treatment available for it 

                                                                                                                 

Trivesh Vassen

Trivesh is a copywriter based in Cape Town, South Africa. Since 2005 Trivesh has worked with hundreds of brands and publications covering a variety of industries. Trivesh works as a Relief Seeker contributor covering men's health and wellness issues.