Erectile Dysfunction

 

A man is considered to suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED), or sexual impotence, when he faces difficulty in getting or keeping a strong erection on a repeated basis. Even after undergoing proper sexual stimulation, a man is unable to attain an erection, which interferes with his ability to complete the act of sexual intercourse.

 

Most men occasionally experience some difficulty with erection, which is usually considered normal. However, if it happens on a regular basis, it is a matter of concern, and one needs to seek medical helps right away. Broadly, two types of erectile dysfunction can affect a man’s sexual life – physical or psychological.

 

The psychological effects that affect your erection include chronic stress, depression, anticipatory anxiety or problems in relationship. Physical factors include certain medical conditions that interfere with blood flow to the penile organ or nerve damage.

 

What are the causes of ED?

To understand ED causes, it is imperative that you learn how an erection occurs naturally. On sexual stimulation, the brain sends signals to the male organ through the secretion of certain neurotransmitters. When this happens, the blood supply to the male organ is increased, causing an erection. The blood supply process is dominated by nervous and hormonal factors that are activated when the brain is stimulated during sexual arousal.

 

Psychological issues such as stress, anxiety and depression can suppress the brain from secreting neurotransmitters and sending signals to the penile organ. Physical conditions such as high cholesterol, heart disease and high blood pressure hamper the blood flow by clogging the arteries, while diabetes causes nerve damage, reducing the penile sensitivity. Other potential causes of erectile dysfunction are obesity, low testosterone, smoking, use of illegal drugs, penile deformity and even certain medications.

 

What are the treatments for ED?

Oral drug therapies include medications such as Sildenafil Citrate, Tadalafil, Vardenafil and Avanafil. These ED drugs are pharmacologically classified under the class of therapeutic agents called PDE5-inhibitors. The function of these medicines is to inhibit the secretion of an enzyme PDE5. With this mechanism of action, the body releases nitric oxide compound that relaxes penile muscles and dilates blood vessels for easy flow of blood to the male organ. Simply put, oral ED medicines increase blood supply to promote an erection on sexual stimulation.

 

Other treatment options include vacuum devices, penile implants, vascular surgery and psychological counseling. Counseling helps overcome ED caused by psychological problems such as anxiety, stress or depression. Most men opt for oral ED drugs, as they are easy to consume and are a non-invasive way of treating ED. On the other hand, penile pumps and implants are a kind of invasive and painful ways of ED treatment.