Erectile dysfunction is the inability to commence and/or maintain an erection required for sexual intercourse. Since individuals with this disorder often think of it as a normal condition resulting from age or an irrecoverable condition they do not feel the need to get medical support and help. In fact, this is a treatable disorder. Erectile dysfunction is a very common condition. Two out of three males over 40 at least at some point experience problems developing or maintaining an erection.
How does an erection develop?
When you are sexually aroused the blood veins in the penis relax and expand when signals from the brain are transmitted. The sponge-like bodies in the penis which are called corpus cavemosa fill with blood and restrict the blood flow that goes out of the penis by putting pressure on the veins. Since the amount of blood entering inside is more than the amount going out the penis grows and erects. During this process the brain, blood vessels, nerves and hormones must work in perfect cooperation as a whole. Any condition which might influence this process can lead to erectile dysfunction.
What are the causes of erectile dysfunction?
There are many causes for erectile dysfunction. Tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption, being overweight, livelihood factors such as stress, medical conditions such as diabetes, heart diseases, hypertension, depression, liver and kidney diseases, high cholesterol and long term use of some medication are among the most common causes.
Which tests might be ordered for me when I see a doctor regarding the erectile dysfunction?
First, your doctor will try to determine the source of your erectile dysfunction by asking you some questions regarding your medical and sexual background. Then you would undergo a physical examination. Blood tests might be asked from you in order to determine probable diabetes, liver and kidney diseases, various hormonal disorders. Some tests such as Doppler ultrasound, night erection tests (non-occurrence of an erection during sleep points out to the existence of a physical cause) in order to evaluate nerve system and veins might be asked from some patients.
What can I do if I have erectile dysfunction?
Stop smoking, exercise and get rid of your excessive weight, do not eat too much fatty food, do not drink too much alcohol. Worrying about erectile dysfunction may inveterate or intensify the condition. Therefore, do not refrain from seeing a doctor in the beginning of such problem. Speaking about this problem clearly with your spouse may mitigate the problem.
Would I definitely experience erectile dysfunction when I get older?
Erectile dysfunction is not an inevitable result of getting older. However, maintaining an erection and climaxing takes longer with age. The period in between erections get longer and need for sexual arousal for erection increases. However, the capacity to get sexual pleasure stays the same in all age groups.
What are the treatments of erectile dysfunction?
Cessation of the medication which might cause erectile dysfunction and/or psychological support, drug treatment and surgical treatment for the treatment of erectile dysfunction comprise today’s treatment options.
Is there a relation between erectile dysfunction and psychological problems?
Psychological problems account for a part of erectile dysfunction causes. As a result of the evaluations, your doctor may conclude that your problems have a psychological nature and may ask you see a psychiatrist. Even though you believe that your problem is not psychological psychotherapy plays a major role in the treatment of erectile dysfunction.
What is the role of medication in the treatment of erectile dysfunction?
The medication treatment alternatives for erectile dysfunction consist of oral medication, transurethral (intra-ureteral) medication, medication applied to the penis.
Due to the fatal side-effects and risk of permanent damage these medications should not be taken and applied unless they are advised by a doctor. When the medication fails tools that develop erection by creating a vacuum to enable the penis to be filled with blood may be used.
What are the surgical treatment alternatives used for erectile dysfunction?
The surgical treatment options used for erectile dysfunction are mainly penile prosthesis applications and revascularization. Despite being applied lesser today with the increase in the effectiveness of orally administered medication penile prosthesis may be applied for patient whose medication treatment has failed. Insertion of penile prosthesis requires general anesthesia, and failure of the prosthesis, infection and erosion are among the problems that may be encountered. Such problems result in the prosthesis being removed. Revascularization is a surgical intervention which can be successful in selected cases and is used less today.