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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.

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 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. Impotence is most commonly caused by problems with blood flow in older adults. 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 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 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. 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 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. 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 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. 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.

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 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.