Erectile Dysfunction – What Are the Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction?
Most men have trouble with erectile function at some time. Some men are embarrassed to seek medical attention.
Your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms and health history. He or she will also perform blood tests and urine test to check for underlying conditions that may 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. 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 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.
Most people have a problem with erections from time to time. 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 perform 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. 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 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, 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 require further testing or referral to a specialist. If medical treatment is not working, then vacuum constriction devices and 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. 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. In addition to pills, there are vacuum pumps, suppositories, surgical implantation and other options.
Men with ED, who are not responding to current medications, will benefit from new medications such as phosphodiesterase inhibiters like sildenafil. 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 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.