Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is defined as an inability for a man to get an erection or maintain enough firmness in the penis to complete a sexual intercourse session. Erectile dysfunction can also be said to be an inconsistent ability to create an erection or a tendency for an erection to only last for a little while. Also referred to as impotence and ED, erectile dysfunction affects up to 30 million men in the US alone. According to data presented by the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse, 4% of men in their 50’s and 17% of men in their 60’s are completely unable to achieve an erection of any kind. Thankfully, this condition is treatable at every age.

Erectile Dysfunction Drugs

Erectile Dysfunction Symptoms

When a man achieves an erection, sensory and mental stimulation are both involved in the process. Impulses, which originate from the brain and local nerves, cause the corpora cavernosa muscles to relax. This allows the blow to flow through the arteries and fill the empty spaces. As the pressure is created from this blood flow, the penis expands. The erection is sustained by the tunica albumin, which traps the blood into the penis. Erectile dysfunction is a disruption of these natural processes. Other than the main symptom of not being able to generate or keep an erection, a man may also experience psychological symptoms from this condition such as an increase in depression or anxiety levels.

  • Inability to achieve an erection
  • Inability to maintain an erection
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of sexual desire

Erectile Dysfunction Causes

When a man achieves an erection, sensory and mental stimulation are both involved in the process. Impulses, which originate from the brain and local nerves, cause the corpora cavernous muscles to relax. This allows the blow to flow through the arteries and fill the empty spaces. As the pressure is created from this blood flow, the penis expands. The erection is sustained by the tunica albumin, which traps the blood into the penis. Erectile dysfunction is a disruption of these natural processes. Other than the main symptom of not being able to generate or keep an erection, a man may also experience psychological symptoms from this condition such as an increase in depression or anxiety levels.

  • Inability to achieve an erection
  • Inability to maintain an erection
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of sexual desire

Erectile Dysfunction Diagnosis

In order for a physician to correctly diagnose the cause of erectile dysfunction, he may choose to use several different methods.

  • Firstly, the doctor will give the patient a physical examination to determine if the penis is sensitive to physical touch.
  • He will also look for other factors such as enlarged breasts, which may point to problems with the endocrine system.
  • He may decide the circulatory system is involved if there is a low pulse rate detected.
  • Laboratory tests may be conducted such as a urinalysis, lipid profile, and liver enzyme measurements.
  • A doctor may also decide to use an interview or questionnaire to determine any psychological factors which may be involved.

Erectile Dysfunction Treatment

There are four methods that may be used to treat ED which include lifestyle changes, medicine replacement, psychotherapy and drug therapy.

  • Lifestyle changes may include putting down cigarettes, reducing the amount of alcohol being consumed, losing weight or adding exercise to their personal regimen.
  • Psychotherapy and behavior modifications are next. A doctor will then examine if any of the patient’s prescription medications need to be switched out.
  • Lastly, he may choose to put the patient on one of the FDA-approved ED medications which include Viagara, Levitra, and Cialis.
  • More serious cases may involve the use of injectables or inflatable surgical implants.