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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 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 are often embarrassed to discuss sexual dysfunctions with their doctors. This can 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. 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, 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 are sometimes an early warning sign for arteriosclerosis, which is the buildup of fatty substances in the arteries.

Symptoms

Men with ED may have difficulty obtaining or maintaining an erection firm enough to engage in sexual activity. It also may affect their feelings, including anxiety or low sex 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 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 do 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.

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 might include a blood test for diabetes and cholesterol, an ultrasound of the penis, and evaluation for endocrine disorders.

In many cases, your doctor can prescribe medication like sildenafil or Levitra. Other medications, dietary supplementation and lifestyle changes may also 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 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. A candid discussion can lead to the best diagnosis and 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.