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 serious health issues, such as heart disease.
Erectile dysfunction is caused by blood flow, hormones and nerves. ED can be caused by any neurological injury or illness, such as a Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s. Penile artery injuries can also lead to ED, especially if they cause scarring or narrowing. 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, they become more likely to experience erectile difficulties. Generally, the most common cause of impotence in older adults is caused by blood flow problems. These problems can be caused by the aging of arteries, or other factors such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. These problems can be an early warning sign of arteriosclerosis. This is the buildup fatty substances within 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 can vary from person to person, but include:
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 perform a physical examination and ask you about your symptoms. They may also do blood or urine tests. You can help reduce your chances of erectile dysfunction by exercising, drinking less alcohol and not smoking or using illegal drugs. Managing your health conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, can also help.
Occasionally, it’s normal for men to have problems getting or keeping an erection. If it occurs regularly and interferes in sex, you should consult your doctor.
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 might include a blood test for diabetes and cholesterol, an ultrasound of the penis, and evaluation for endocrine disorders.
In many cases, a doctor can help with medication such as sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis) or vardenafil (Levitra). Other medications, dietary supplements and lifestyle changes also may be helpful. Psychosexual counseling, or sex therapy, is an option for some people, particularly those whose ED results from relationship issues or anxiety around 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.
It is important to talk openly with your doctor, even though ED can be embarrassing and cause a decrease in self-esteem. A candid discussion can lead to the best diagnosis and treatment.
In the 14 years since Viagra hit the market, many more ED treatments have become available. In addition to pills, there are vacuum pumps, suppositories, surgical implantation and other options.
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 will probably work faster and last longer than the older ones, and may have fewer side effects.
Other ways to improve sexual function include exercise, a healthy diet and avoidance of smoking and high-sodium foods. If you suspect that your erectile disorder is psychological, speak to a mental healthcare professional about individual or couple 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.