What Is Erectile Dysfunction or ED?
Men who have ED have a problem getting or keeping an erection that’s enough for sexual satisfaction. Most men have difficulty with erections from time to time. In some men, it is a regular, more severe problem. It can cause low self-esteem, performance anxiety, depression and stress. ED may affect the quality of a marriage or intimate relationship.
Studies show that about one half of men over age 40 have some degree of ED. At one time, health care providers thought that psychological problems, such as stress and anxiety, were the main causes of ED. Recent studies show that most cases have a physical cause.
While ED becomes more common as men age, growing old is not the cause of the problem. Though sexual function may decrease with age, many men enjoy sexual activity well into their senior years.
Who Gets ED?
ED can be an early warning sign of a more serious illness, such as heart disease, high blood pressure or diabetes mellitus.
Diagnosing and treating the condition that causes ED can improve your overall well being, as well as help restore your sexual health.
ED may be caused by a combination of factors that could also include medicine, alcohol or drugs.
The physical and medical causes of ED include three basic problems:
- Not enough blood flows into the penis - Heart disease, diabetes and even smoking can contribute to the same.
- The penis cannot store blood during an erection. A man with this problem, called venous leak, cannot maintain an erection because blood does not remain trapped in the penis. This condition may occur at any age.
- Nerve signals from the brain or spinal cord do not reach the penis. Certain diseases, injury or surgery in the pelvic area can damage nerves in the penis
Sexual activity requires the mind and body to work together. Psychological, emotional or relationship problems can cause or worsen ED. These include: depression, relationship conflicts, stress at home or work, anxiety about sexual performance
Many prescription and over- the-counter medications cause erectile difficulties as a side-effect. Drug addiction and alcohol use can also lead to sexual problems.
Who Will Treat me Erectile Dysfunction ?
The treatment of ED requires one or many specialists. It’s normally prudent to start with a Urologist who can take a detailed history and examine you in detail.
Urologists perform specialized evaluations, prescribe medications and perform surgery to correct erection problems.
Endocrinologist - If your ED is due to a hormonal problem.
Mental health professional - These specialists treat psychological or emotional causes of ED. Even if your ED is not caused by these factors, it may contribute to them. It may be helpful to get counseling, alone or with your partner, in addition to getting medical therapy for ED.
Help is Available if you reach out. Do not suffer from Erectile Dysfunction, get treated.