Erectile dysfunction (ED) and impotence are the same they involve the inability to achieve an erection during intercourse. It causes great distress to men and impacts their relationships negatively. Sometimes erectile dysfunction happens once in a lifetime, sporadically or over a long period of time. Age is a factor so are psychological issues and underlying health conditions treatment depends on the cause.
Most men suffer erectile dysfunction at some time in their lives and often it is not a cause for concern. If you suffer from ED 25% of the time a visit to your doctor is necessary. Bad lifestyle choices such as drinking, smoking and stress cause erectile dysfunction. Changing your drinking and smoking habits and relieving stress helps to alleviate the condition. Underlying health conditions such as diabetes and neurological conditions make having an erection difficult. Some medications such as treatment for heart conditions or hair loss cause erectile dysfunction.
Sometimes it goes away by itself while other times treatment such as Viagra, Cialis or a vacuum pump help you to achieve an erection. If you are able to achieve an erection during masturbation it is likely to be due to psychological issues or relationship problems. Talk therapy helps to solve the condition if this is the case.
There are a number of causes of erectile dysfunction including, physical, psychological and health reasons. Some men are physically unable to achieve an erection due to the structure of their penis and require surgery to rectify the problem. Relationship issues, lifestyle choices and stress make having an erection difficult. Talk therapy, couples therapy and adopting a healthy lifestyle will help to overcome the issues causing erectile dysfunction.
Health conditions such as MS affects the way the nervous system works and makes it very difficult for you to achieve an erection. Heart conditions decrease the efficiency of blood flow to the penis making an erection difficult to achieve. Diabetes damages blood vessels and effects circulation to extremities and the penis again affecting the ability to have an erection. The side effects of medication also contribute to erection problems because they inhibit blood flow or suppress the production of testosterone.
Erectile dysfunction may also be a sign of serious health conditions such as; stroke, heart attack, diabetes, coronary heart disease, diabetes, dementia, prostate cancer and liver disease. Therefore it is vitally important you visit your doctor to find the underlying cause.
Cognitive behaviour therapy helps you to deal with emotional issues such as stress while couples therapy helps couples to overcome relationships problems. Lifestyle changes such as; losing weight, giving up smoking, healthy eating, regular exercise and avoiding stress may also help you to get your MOJO back. (Source: NHS Choices).
If the cause is due to side effects of medication your doctor may be able to alter your dose so you are able to get an erection. Treating an underlying health condition may help you to regain an erection but is not always the case. Phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE 5) inhibitors such as Viagra, Cialis and Spedra treat ED. They increase blood flow to the penis by relaxing blood vessels. If you have an underlying heart condition you will not be able to use them and may have to use a vacuum pump instead.
Erectile dysfunction itself is not life-threatening but it has a profound effect on mental health. It could be a sign of an underlying health condition so a visit to your doctor is important.
By Parv Sagoo (April 2018)