Erectile dysfunction refers to the inability to have a firm enough erection for sexual intercourse. ED could be defined as not being able or able to have a consistent erection, having a short erection, or not being able at all to have one.
Having erectile dysfunction or impotence means that you cannot have an erection. It also means that you are unhappy with the size or hardness of your erections, or how long they last. There are many different types and causes of erectile dysfunction. Mental health problems, physical problems, certain diseases and conditions, certain prescription medications, and lifestyle choices have all been linked to erectile dysfunction.
Physical and psychological examinations are a key part of the diagnosis of erectile dysfunction. You may also have blood and urine tests.
Erectile dysfunction can be treated. Treatments are based on the cause of the problem and may include lifestyle changes, prescription medications, or penile implants. Erectile dysfunction can cause difficulties for a couple. Many times, the man’s partner is included in the diagnosis and treatment of erectile dysfunction.
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What causes erectile dysfunction
There are many causes and types of Erectile dysfunction. These are some of the most common:
- Premature ejaculation: This refers to the inability of maintaining an erection for mutual pleasure.
- Anxiety about sexual performance: Stress is often the cause.
- Depression: Depression can make it difficult to erection. Some antidepressants can also cause problems with erection.
- Organic impotence: It affects the veins or arteries in the penis. This is the leading cause of ED in older men. This could be due to hardening in the arteries. ED can also be caused by injury or venous leakage from the penis.
- Diabetes: Men with diabetes are more likely to experience ED because of early and severe hardenings of the arteries. Problems with the nerves controlling erections can also be seen in diabetic men.
- Nervous system: ED can be caused by a variety of problems in the nervous systems. Multiple sclerosis, stroke, nerve and spinal cord injury, among others, can all cause ED. ED can be caused by nerve damage following pelvic surgery.
- Medication-caused impotence: ED can be caused by medications for blood pressure, anxiety, depression, glaucoma drops, and chemotherapy drugs.
- Hormones can cause impotence: Hormonal imbalances can lead to ED. For example, increased prolactin (a hormone made in the pituitary), is one possible cause. Another example is steroid abuse by bodybuilders and too much or too few thyroid hormones, as well as hormones used in the treatment of prostate cancer. ED can be caused by low testosterone, but it is rare.
- Low testosterone. Low testosterone levels may indicate ED.
- Lifestyle choices. ED can also be caused by smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, overweight, and inactivity.
Living with erectile dysfunction
Couples can have problems with ED. Men often avoid sex because they are embarrassed. Their partner might feel ashamed or rejected. Talking openly with your partner is crucial. Some couples can have ED treatment together. Some men prefer to have treatment done without the knowledge of their partner. Talking about the problem is often the biggest obstacle to treatment. Erectile dysfunction can have a devastating effect on men. The good news about ED is that it can be treated safely and effectively.
An embarrassed man can delay getting the medical care he requires. This can make it difficult to diagnose and treat more serious conditions. ED can often be associated with underlying conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or liver disease. If you have ED problems, talk to your doctor. There is help available.