In this Health Article:
- What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?
- What Are the Types of Erectile Dysfunction?
- What Are the Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction?
- What Are the Diagnosis & Tests for Erectile Dysfunction?
- What Are the Treatments Available for Erectile Dysfunction?
- How Do You Cope Up with Erectile Dysfunction?
- What Are the Ways to Prevent Erectile Dysfunction?
- Medications for Erectile Dysfunction Available at InternationalDrugMart.com
- Self Care
IntroductionErectile dysfunction is the inability to achieve or sustain an erection by a man for a satisfactory sexual activity. It is also called as impotence. Erectile dysfunction can occur at any age, but it is more common in men older than 65.
What Causes Erectile Dysfunction?Physical problems like the consumption of alcohol and tobacco, fatigue, brain or spinal-cord injuries, hypogonadism, liver or kidney failure, multiple sclerosis, Parkinsonâ€™s disease, Radiation therapy to the testicles, stroke and some types of prostate or bladder surgery could lead to erectile dysfunction. Also, medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) could trigger erectile dysfunction. Hormonal imbalance or problem in relationship with your partner may also cause erectile dysfunction.
What Are the Types of Erectile Dysfunction?
Primary Erectile Dysfunction: Primary erectile dysfunction refers to the male who has never achieved or sustained erection satisfactory for sexual intercourse. Less than 10% of individuals fall into this category. This form of Primary Ejaculation is psychogenic (as opposed to organic or physical) impotence. Primary erectile dysfunction is caused by a congenital venous leak in which the venous drainage system in the penis does not shut down properly.
Secondary Erectile Dysfunction: Secondary erectile dysfunction refers to the male who has previously been able to achieve sexual intercourse. Secondary PE is due to physical causes, usually involving the penile arteries, veins, or both.
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What Are the Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction?Inability to have an erection or inability to sustain an erection long enough to have a satisfying sexual relationship is the major symptom of erectile dysfunction. An occasional difficulty may be considered normal. However, frequent episodes or prolonged problems lasting more than a couple of weeks may require further evaluation by a physician.
What Are the Diagnosis & Tests for Erectile Dysfunction?Your doctor will probably start by asking you some questions and doing a physical exam. Your doctor suspects might prescribe you for blood tests to check your level of male hormones and for other potential medical problems, such as diabetes. Your doctor may also want to try eliminating or replacing certain prescription drugs you're taking one at a time to see whether any are responsible for erectile dysfunction. In some cases the doctor might prescribe you for special tests like
Ultrasound: A test done to check blood flow to your penis. It involves using a wand-like device (transducer) held over the blood vessels that supply the penis. The transducer emits sound waves that pass through body tissues and reflect back; producing an image to let your doctor see if your blood flow is impaired. The test often is done before and after injection of medication into the side of the penis to see if there's an improvement in blood flow.
Neurological evaluation: Your doctor usually assesses possible nerve damage by conducting a physical examination to test for normal touch sensation in your genital area.
Dynamic Infusion Cavernosometry and Cavernosography (DICC): This procedure involves injecting a dye into penile blood vessels to permit your doctor to view any possible abnormalities in blood pressure and flow into and out of your penis. It's generally done with local anesthesia by an urologist who specializes in erectile dysfunction.
What Are the Treatments Available for Erectile Dysfunction?Initially, a physical examination is done to rule out disorders such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, kidney disease, alcoholism, or multiple sclerosis, that cause erectile dysfunction. It is estimated that physical diseases or conditions are the cause of erectile dysfunction approximately 70% of the time. Alternately, your doctor conducts a detailed interview to understand your condition. Usually, the doctor will ask about sexual activity and carefully discuss all of the patient's symptoms, which may help determine if the patient is having problems with erection, ejaculation, orgasm, or sexual desire. The cause and severity of your condition are important factors in determining the best treatment or combination of treatments for you.
Medications: Your doctor might prescribe you some oral medications like phosphodiesterase inhibitors which include Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra. These medications work by preventing the breakdown of nitric oxide, causing relaxation of the muscles in the penis. This allows more blood to flow into the penis improving an erection.
Prostaglandin E (alprostadil): Alprostadil is a synthetic version of the hormone prostaglandin E. The hormone helps relax muscle tissue in the penis, which enhances the blood flow needed for an erection. Alprostadil could be used in two ways â€“ needle injection therapy or self administered intraurethral therapy. In needle injection therapy, a fine needle of alprostadil is injected into the base or side of your penis. This generally produces an erection in five to 20 minutes that lasts about an hour. In other form, a tiny alprostadil suppository is inserted into the tip of the penis with intraurethral form (muse).The suppository, placed about two inches into your urethra, and is absorbed by erectile tissue in your penis, increasing the blood flow that causes an erection. Self administered intraurethral therapy is not as effective as needle injection therapy.
Hormone replacement therapy: In some men with testosterone deficiency, doctor might suggest testosterone replacement therapy.
Vacuum devices/penis pumps: This involves the use of a hollow tube with a hand-powered or battery-powered pump. The tube is placed over the penis to create a vacuum, which draws blood into the penis and allows it to engorge, hence causing an erection.
Penis pumps: This treatment involves the use of a hollow tube with a hand-powered or battery-powered pump. The tube is placed over the penis, and then the pump is used to suck out the air. This creates a vacuum that pulls blood into the penis. Once you achieve an adequate erection, you slip a tension ring around the base of your penis to maintain the erection.
Penile implants: This treatment involves surgically placing a device into the two sides of the penis, allowing erection to occur as often and for as long as desired. These implants consist of either an inflatable device or semirigid rods made from silicone or polyurethane. The inflatable device allows you to control when and how long you have an erection, the semirigid rods keep the penis in a rigid state all the time. The treatment is generally prescribed after the patientâ€™s failure to medications and other methodologies.
Vascular surgery: Your doctor might perform a surgery to restore blood flow to the penile area that has vascular blockages. These types of surgeries have fallen out of favor in recent years due to the possible risk of infection associated with such invasive procedures. As a result, prescription medications have become the treatment of choice for erectile dysfunction.
Psychological counseling and sex therapy: If stress, anxiety or depression is the cause of your erectile dysfunction, your doctor may suggest that you, or you and your partner, visit a psychologist or counselor with experience in treating sexual problems (sex therapist). Even if it is caused by something physical, erectile dysfunction can create stress and relationship tension. Counseling can help, especially when your partner participates.
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How Do You Cope Up with Erectile Dysfunction?You are not alone. Erectile dysfunction affects more than half of adult men over age 50. In the United States, up to 20 million men are affected by erectile dysfunction. Following are certain tips that would help your cope up with erectile dysfunction.
- Mange stress as both psychological and physical factors might affect your relationship with your partner.
- If you have encountered the problem once during your relationship, donâ€™t assume that it is permanent.
- Don't view one episode of erectile dysfunction as a lasting comment on your health, virility or masculinity.
- Try to communicate openly and honestly about your condition to your sexual partner.
- If required, meet a psychologist and take counseling.
What Are the Ways to Prevent Erectile Dysfunction?Researches indicate that frequent sexual intercourse may cut down on a man's chances of developing erectile dysfunction. Following tips might help you in certain ways in preventing erectile dysfunction.
- Stop smoking.
- Exercise regularly.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Avoid excessive use of alcohol (more than two drinks a day).
- Avoid the use of illegal drugs.
- If you have a chronic illness such as diabetes or kidney disease, follow your doctor's guidelines to keep these conditions in control.
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Self CareHere are few simple, effective erectile dysfunction self-care tips that can reduce erectile dysfunction breakouts and control future breakouts.
- Cut down on smoking, alcohol, and illegal drugs.
- Get plenty of rest and take time to relax.
- Exercise and eat a healthy diet to maintain good circulation.
- Use safe sex practices, which reduce fear of HIV and STDs.
- Talk openly to your partner about sex and your relationship. If you are unable to do this, counseling can help.