Erectile Dysfunction – What Are the Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction?
Most men will experience erectile dysfunction at some point. But not all seek medical help, partly out of embarrassment.
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. He or she may also run blood tests and urine tests to check for underlying health conditions that can cause ED.
Men often feel embarrassed to discuss sexual dysfunction with their doctors, which may delay diagnosis and treatment. This can lead to more serious health problems, including heart disease.
The causes of erectile dysfunction depend on blood flow, nerves and hormones. ED can be caused by any neurological injury or illness, such as a Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s. Injuries to the penile arteries can also cause ED, particularly if they result in scarring or narrowing of the arteries. Abnormalities of the pelvic nerves may interfere with erections. Long-term diabetes may damage the nerves that control the penis in the head and neck.
As men age, erectile dysfunction is more common. Generally, the most common cause of impotence in older adults is caused by blood flow problems. These can be due to the aging of the arteries or other issues such as diabetes and heart disease. These problems are sometimes an early warning sign for arteriosclerosis, which is the buildup of fatty substances in the arteries.
Men with ED may have difficulty obtaining or maintaining an erection firm enough to engage in sexual activity. It can also affect their feelings such as anxiety or low sexual drive. Symptoms vary by person, but they include the following:
Erectile Dysfunction is caused by a variety of factors, including nerve and blood vessel problems that affect the flow of blood to the penis. It can also be a side-effect of some drugs or from the natural aging.
It’s normal for most people to sometimes have trouble with erections. But if it happens often and interferes with a person’s quality of life, he should see his doctor. Your doctor will do a physical exam and ask about your symptoms. They may also do blood or urine tests. Exercise, a reduced alcohol intake, and avoiding smoking or illegal drugs can reduce your risk of erectile dysfunction. Managing your health conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, can also help.
It’s not uncommon for men to experience problems obtaining or maintaining an erection. But if it happens regularly and interferes with sex, talk to your GP.
The underlying causes of ED can vary, but in some cases a tentative diagnosis may be made by taking a careful history and physical examination. Other tests may include a blood test to check for diabetes and cholesterol. An ultrasound of the penis and evaluation for endocrine disorder are also possible.
In many cases, your doctor can prescribe medication like sildenafil or Levitra. Other medications, dietary supplements and lifestyle changes also may be helpful. Some people may benefit from psychosexual counseling or sex therapy, especially those whose ED is caused by relationship issues or anxiety about sex. This can address the biopsychosocial model of ED and improve outcomes. Some people may need further testing or referrals to a specialist. If medical treatments are not effective, vacuum constriction devices or surgery may be considered.
Although ED can cause embarrassment and lower self-esteem, it is important to have an open conversation with your doctor about what is going on. Having an honest discussion can lead to a diagnosis and the most effective treatment.
Since Viagra was introduced to the market in 1994, there have been many other ED treatments available. There are many other options besides pills. These include vacuum pumps, suppositories and surgical implantation.
New medications, including phosphodiesterase inhibitors like sildenafil (Viagra), are being developed to help men with ED who don’t respond to the current drugs. These medications are likely to work faster and longer than older drugs, and may also have fewer side-effects.
Other ways to improve sexual function include exercise, a healthy diet and avoidance of smoking and high-sodium foods. If your erectile dysfunction is psychological in origin, talk to a mental health professional about individual or couples therapy. Men who cannot achieve a rigid erection can still enjoy intimacy and pleasure with their partners through non-sexual activities such as cuddling, genital caressing or oral sex.