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Erectile Dysfunction – What Are the Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction?

Most men have trouble with erectile function at some time. 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 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 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, 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.

Symptoms

Men with ED have trouble getting or keeping an erection that’s firm enough for sexual activity. It also may affect their feelings, including anxiety or low sex 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 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. But if it happens often and interferes with a person’s quality of life, he should see his doctor. Your doctor will perform a physical examination and ask you 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

Occasionally, it’s normal for men to have problems getting or keeping 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 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 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

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.

Since Viagra was introduced to the market in 1994, there have been many other ED treatments 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 will probably work faster and last longer than the older ones, and may 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.