Sometimes it can be hard to meet expectations and there will be times in your life when this might hold true for your Joystick!
First off, there is absolutely no reason to panic or start worrying about sexual dysfunction, especially if you’re facing it for the first time or if you have just started experiencing it. For all you know, it might just be temporary. It is quite common for men to face an occasional inability to maintain or attain an erection.
Very few men are comfortable with, nor want to discuss it, if at all they encounter sexual problems. And those problems like an erectile dysfunction might profoundly impact a man’s self-esteem and relationships. Not only is it very important to be informed about sexual problems, but also to know enough to look for warning signs and reach out for help, when necessary. For most health conditions, getting treated at the earliest can do wonders!
Here’s everything you need to know about the most common form of sexual dysfunction in men:
What is Erectile Dysfunction?
Otherwise known as “impotence”, erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to get or maintain an erect penis that is firm enough to indulge in sexual intercourse resulting in a flaccid penis. Erectile dysfunction could be a sign of physical or psychological health conditions and might result in stress, reduced self-esteem, and might also affect relationships.
If it is just temporary or intermittent, which is common in many men, it might be due to stress or exhaustion. For instance, prolonged bicycling and other activities that might cause physical damage to the nerves and blood vessels surrounding the male member which, in turn, could cause temporary erectile dysfunction.
And just like any other health condition, lifestyle factors can also be blamed for erectile dysfunction. Any behavior which can damage one’s nervous system and heart health such as smoking, alcohol consumption, maintaining unhealthy body weight, poor blood sugar control, and physical inactivity are highly likely to up your risk of erectile dysfunction.
Some Quick Numbers about Erectile Dysfunction:
- Most men with erectile dysfunction happen to be aged 40 and above
- About 1 in 2 men older than 40 years of age encounter this form of sexual dysfunction
- ED affects at least 33% of men by the time they turn 50 and 42% of them by age 60
- 44% of all men with erectile dysfunction have an underlying health defect
- The global incidence of ED is likely to reach 322 million men in the next 5 years
What Causes ED?
The penis is considered to be the “barometer” of your body’s endothelial functions and therefore, several vascular risk factors might be associated with ED. ED might be an indication of an undiagnosed condition or that your body has been suffering from some kind of comorbidities. Despite being thought of as a natural consequence of the aging process, ED is associated with such vascular risk factors as diabetes, high blood pressure levels, atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, and abnormal blood cholesterol levels.
Since mind and body work hand-in-hand during an erection, emotional or psychological factors could also make it difficult in getting or keeping it leaving you with a flaccid penis. Depression, frequent arguments with your partner, and stress could also affect your ability to maintain a penile erection.
Your hormones can also be blamed. Low testosterone levels and sometimes, adverse effects of certain medications could also cause ED.
Apart from all of these, you might also experience ED if you drink excessively, use drugs, or sustain a penis injury.
Moreover, there are certain worrisome erectile dysfunction causes like cardiovascular diseases. About 30% of men who reported ED were soon diagnosed with heart diseases such as clogged or hardened arteries and diabetes which damages your nerves and blood vessels.
And there are chances that your struggle with achieving and maintaining an erect penis might be because you aren’t really attracted to your partner.
How can I Find out if I Have Erectile Dysfunction?
You might be dealing with ED if you experience the following signs and symptoms:
- Lowered sexual desire or libido
- Trouble getting a penile erection
- Difficulty maintaining an erect penis
Your urologist will be able to diagnose erectile dysfunction after going through your medical and sexual history alongside your mental health and a physical exam. The more your doctor is aware of your symptoms and your health, the more likely you can receive the best treatment. No matter how hard you might find it to discuss your sexual issues with your doctor, it is best to share as many details as possible.
Related: Sex Tips and Ideas for Couples
Is Erectile Dysfunction Curable? Or do I Need to Worry about it?
Whatever the erectile dysfunction causes, no man should suffer permanently from this sexual dysfunction. There are a lot of treatment options available for men suffering from erectile dysfunction. ED can be treated effectively with surgery or medications. But if you’re lucky, you might even be able to reverse the symptoms without any medications at all and make a flaccid penis a thing of the past.
Your healthcare provider will be in a better position to recommend the best treatment plan for you. And the first thing will be to ensure that you are being treated appropriately for any underlying health condition like diabetes or high blood pressure, to prevent worsening of your ED symptoms.
Based on what’s causing your ED symptoms and how severe it is, your doctor will suggest the right treatment option.
Oral medications that have successfully treated erectile dysfunction in men include Viagra, Cialis, Adcirca, Staxyn, Levitra, and Stendra, to name a few. These drugs enhance the effect of nitric oxide which plays a key role in relaxing your penis muscles. Your little brother will not only be able to stand up but also be able to perform well.
These tablets will first induce sexual stimulation and help maintain normal penile function. (Note that these aren’t aphrodisiacs and do not work in inducing sexual excitement and aren’t recommended for people who do not have a problem with having an erection.)
When medications aren’t effective in your case of ED, your healthcare provider might recommend other options like a penis pump or penile implants.
A penis pump is a vacuum erection device that comprises a hollow tube alongside a hand-powered/battery-powered pump which will be placed over your penis. The pump will then be used to suck out the air inside the tube, creating a vacuum that will pull blood into your penis. The erection usually lasts long enough until you can have sex. Your doctor might suggest this if he/she feels that it is the right choice for you.
Penile implant treatment involves surgically placing the devices into both sides of your penis. The inflatable rods will let you control when and how long you want an erection. Although penile implants have received a high degree of satisfaction among men who have tried them, this option isn’t usually recommended until all other methods have failed. Like any other surgical procedure, this comes with a risk of complications including infections.
And Here are Some Lifestyle Modifications that can Help Improve Your ED Symptoms:
- Regular, low-impact exercise can reduce your risk of ED
- Try getting rid of those ‘extra pounds’ since being overweight or obese can worsen or cause ED symptoms
- Quit smoking and limit your alcohol use. Excessive drinking can worsen your ED alongside causing long-term health issues
- And couples counseling can help you if you’re having relationship issues with your partner
Related: How to Have Hot Sex After Kids
How to Prevent ED?
Like any other ailment, addressing the root cause can help prevent erectile dysfunction. Eating healthy, staying physically active, maintaining a healthy body weight, and avoiding drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes can help prevent ED and a flaccid penis. More importantly, stress reduction plays a crucial role in mitigating several lifestyle disorders, especially ones that lead to problems like erectile dysfunction. Take good care of your physical and mental health to keep ED at bay by eliminating the above erectile dysfunction causes in your life.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to a treatment plan for ED or determining the underlying cause. But there’s absolutely one thing you can do if you think you are suffering from erectile dysfunction: Seek Help!
Do not hesitate to discuss your symptoms and concerns with your doctor. The sooner you figure out the root cause of your problem, the sooner you can bounce back to a healthier version of yourself.