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Erectile Dysfunction – What Are the Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction?

Most men will experience erectile dysfunction at some point. Some men are embarrassed to seek medical attention.

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.

Causes

Men are often embarrassed to discuss sexual dysfunctions with their doctors. This can 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. Any neurological injury or disease, such as a stroke, Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease can cause ED by interfering with nerve impulses. Penile artery injuries can also lead to ED, especially if they cause scarring or narrowing. Abnormalities in the pelvic nerves can interfere with erections, and long-term diabetes can damage the nerves in the head and neck that control the penis.

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 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.

Symptoms

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 can be caused by many things, including nerve and vascular problems that affect blood flow to the penis. It can also occur as a side effect of some drugs and from the natural aging process.

Most people have a problem with erections from time to time. 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 perform blood or urine tests. Exercise, a reduced alcohol intake, and avoiding smoking or illegal drugs can reduce your risk of erectile dysfunction. You can also reduce your chances of erectile dysfunction by exercising, drinking less alcohol, and not smoking or using illegal drugs.

Diagnosis

Occasionally, it’s normal for men to have problems getting or keeping an erection. But if it happens regularly and interferes with sex, talk to your GP.

The underlying causes for ED can be different, but in some instances a tentative diagnosis can be made after a thorough history and physical exam. Other tests might include a blood test for diabetes and cholesterol, an ultrasound of the penis, and evaluation for endocrine disorders.

In many cases, your doctor can prescribe medication like sildenafil or 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 improve outcomes and address the biopsychosocial ED model. 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.

Treatment

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.

Since Viagra was introduced to the market in 1994, there have been many other ED treatments 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 your erectile dysfunction is psychological in origin, talk to a mental health professional about individual or couples therapy. Men who are unable to achieve a rigid, permanent erection may still be able to enjoy intimacy and pleasure through non-sexual activities like cuddling, genital massage or oral sex.