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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 will also perform blood tests and urine test to check for underlying conditions that may 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. 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. 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 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 vary by person, but they include the following:

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.

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 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 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 need further testing or referrals to a specialist. If medical treatments are not effective, vacuum constriction devices or 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 are likely to work faster and longer than older drugs, and may also have fewer side-effects.

Exercise, a healthy eating plan and avoiding smoking and foods high in sodium are all ways to improve your sexual function. If your erectile dysfunction is psychological in origin, talk to a mental health professional about individual or couples therapy. Men who cannot achieve a rigid erection can still enjoy intimacy and pleasure with their partners through non-sexual activities such as cuddling, genital caressing or oral sex.