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Deseases A to Z


Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction (ED), also called impotence, is a common male sexual disorder. ED is characterized by the inability to attain and sustain an erection hard enough to complete the act of sexual intercourse. A man repeatedly fails to erect his penile organ even after undergoing proper sexual stimulation. Worldwide, millions of men suffer from this type of sexual issue.

Occasional episode of weak erection is considered normal; however, if it happens frequently, it is a matter of concern and you need to see your doctor right away. If getting an erection is a persistent problem, it could be due to a variety factors, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, anxiety, stress, smoking and medications. So, problem in getting an erection indicates some underlying medical condition. It is found that most men experience poor erection due to insufficient blood supply.

If you experience poor erection on a repeated basis, do not hesitate to speak to your doctor. If left untreated, impotence can take a toll on your health, which can make your life miserable. Sometimes, identifying and managing the underlying cause is enough to restore your erectile function. In other cases, men require oral ED pills or certain ED treatments to get back their erectile ability.

ED Causes

A lot goes into attaining and sustaining an erection. On sexual stimulation, an intricate mechanism between your brain, nerves, neurochemicals, blood vessels and the penile organ takes place. This makes the blood to flow into your spongy tissues. If this mechanism goes well, you are ready to make love. If the mechanism does not go well, it becomes difficult for you to perform sexual intercourse. Following are the potential causes associated with ED:

  • Physical Causes
    • High blood pressure
    • High cholesterol
    • Heart disease
    • Neurological disorder 
    • Diabetes
    • Penile deformity
    • Obesity
    • Low testosterone
    • Bad effects of certain medicines
  • Psychological Causes
    • Stress
    • Anxiety
    • Depression
  • Lifestyle
    • Poor diet
    • Lack of exercise
    • Smoking
    • Chronic alcoholism
    • Illegal drugs  

ED Signs and Symptoms

Occasional attack of listless erection is normal, but repeated episodes of poor erection may indicate some underlying medical problems. If you experience below-mentioned symptoms on a frequent basis, you need to check with your doctor:

  • Trouble in attaining an erection
  • Trouble in keeping an erection
  • Low sexual desire

ED Complications

  • Embarrassment
  • Low-self esteem
  • Unwanted frustration
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Unsatisfactory intimate life
  • Relationship issues

ED Treatment

After thorough clinical examination, your physician will make sure you receive proper treatment for underlying physical or psychological condition that is making you impotent. Your doctor would suggest you various ED treatment options after considering your underlying cause and severity of the condition. Concurrently, he will explain you the benefits and risks of various ED treatments. More importantly, your doctor will consider your wife’s preferences while treating erectile dysfunction.

Oral ED Pills

Oral medications are found to be extremely successful in managing erectile dysfunction, such as:

  • Sildenafil Citrate – Generic Viagra
  • Tadalafil – Generic Cialis
  • Vardenafil – Generic Levitra
  • Avanafil – Generic Stendra

These impotence medicines belong to a group of drugs called PDE5-inhibitors; hence, their action mechanism is same. These ED pills function by inhibiting a specific enzyme called phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5). With this pharmacological action, the body releases nitric oxide, a chemical that boosts blood supply. Eventually, you achieve an erection that sustains for longer duration.

Oral ED drugs will not automatically produce an erection. Sexual stimulation is a must to allow your body to release nitric oxide. Keep in mind that these ED pills do not have aphrodisiac effects, so they will not improve your libido or sexual drive. You need to use these prescription ED medicines under the supervision of your doctor.

Other ED Treatments

  • Injections – Alprostadil, Papaverine and Phentolamine are the therapeutic agents that are injected directly into your erectile tissues.
  • Urethral Suppository – A tiny Alprostadil suppository that is inserted in your sexual organ with a special applicator.
  • Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) – TRT helps treat low testosterone, which is one of the ED causes.
  • Vacuum Device – Also known as a penile pump, a vacuum device is a hollow tube that is to be placed over your sexual organ and gently pumped to draw blood into your organ.
  • Psychological Counseling – Counseling can help with stress and anxiety that hinder erection process.