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 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.
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.
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 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. 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 can be an early warning sign of arteriosclerosis. This is the buildup fatty substances within the arteries.
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 can be caused by many things, including nerve and vascular problems that affect blood flow to the penis. It can also be a side-effect of some drugs or from the natural aging.
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 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.
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 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, 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.
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. 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.
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 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.