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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 you questions about your symptoms and health history. He or she may also run blood tests and urine tests to check for underlying health conditions that can cause ED.

Causes

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.

Erectile dysfunction is caused by blood flow, hormones and nerves. 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 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. Impotence is most commonly caused by problems with blood flow in older adults. 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.

Symptoms

Men with ED have trouble getting or keeping an erection that’s firm enough for 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 occur as a side effect of some drugs and from the natural aging process.

It’s normal for most people to sometimes have trouble with erections. If it occurs frequently and affects a person’s life quality, they should consult their doctor. Your doctor will do a physical exam and ask 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.

Diagnosis

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 for ED can be different, but in some instances a tentative diagnosis can be made after a thorough history and physical exam. 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 supplementation and lifestyle changes may also 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 require further testing or referral to a specialist. If medical treatment is not working, then vacuum constriction devices and surgery may be considered.

Treatment

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.

In the 14 years since Viagra hit the market, many more ED treatments have become available. There are many other options besides pills. These include vacuum pumps, suppositories and surgical implantation.

Men with ED, who are not responding to current medications, will benefit from new medications such as phosphodiesterase inhibiters like sildenafil. 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 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.