What is Erectile Dysfunction?
We are fortunate to live in a day and age when discussing sexual health is not taboo in the slightest like it was for some generations previous. A healthy sex life is important for everyone and it should be discussed. Erectile dysfunction is one of the more common stumbling blocks for older men trying to enjoy healthy sex lives. Erectile dysfunction symptoms are often slow to come on, but once they do there’s no denying there’s something amiss down there.
Of course, this shouldn’t be regarded as an automatic inhibition of your sex life. It certainly doesn’t have to be, as erectile dysfunction causes are now well understood by the medical community. Effective erectile dysfunction treatment is going to be within reach for most men affected by the condition.
Let’s look at the symptoms, causes, and treatments for ED in greater detail here, with the aim of putting all of you explicitly in the know about everything that relates to it.
Erectile Dysfunction Symptoms
A slow onset of erectile dysfunction symptoms over a number of years is common, while any immediate onset of ED is pretty much unheard of. For most men, it’s a slowly developing process. It’s best to state first that symptoms vary from one man to another, and emotional states can play a role as well.
There are 3 predominant erectile dysfunction symptoms:
- Difficulty getting an erection
- Difficulty keeping an erection
- Reduced sexual desire
The third of them, reduced sexual desire, can be either a result of misgivings and / or embarrassment about their masculinity due to having ED, or it can be because of external psychological factors depending on the individual.
In many cases it is both, but overall this one of the erectile dysfunction symptoms is a more difficult one for us to pinpoint specific causes. Which is where we’ll move to next. Before we do that one other quick mention; it’s quite common to have little to no ED in the morning hours, but suffer from it in the afternoon and evening quite pronouncedly.
Erectile Dysfunction Causes
Inherent or acquired physiological conditions are the most common erectile dysfunction causes. Most common among these, among others, are:
- Heart disease
- Clogged blood vessels (atherosclerosis)
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Metabolic syndrome - a condition where the individual has increased blood pressure, high insulin levels, body fat around the waist, and high cholesterol
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Use of certain prescription medications
- Tobacco use and alcohol abuse
- Sleep disorders
- Prostate cancer and prostate enlargement treatments
Disease, nerve damage, and medication use can also be factors. Vascular disease is a common culprit here. Vascular disease limits the amount of blood that is able to flow into or remain in the penis. This makes it difficult to maintain the erection, even when the man is able to achieve it
Nerve damage can be a cause too. It impairs the way stimulus impulses pass to blood vessels and muscles, and can be the result of diabetes, multiple sclerosis, prostate surgery, or spinal cord damage. Drugs for high blood pressure, depression, heart disease, and prostate cancer in particular can also negatively affect a man’s ability to achiever or maintain an erection.
Hormonal issues can be behind a man’s erectile dysfunction symptoms too. Abnormal levels of certain hormones can wreak havoc on the entirety of sexual health and vitality, including the ability to keep an erection. Low testosterone levels are at the forefront of these hormonal issues and often magnify erectile dysfunction symptoms.
Erectile dysfunction medications are available, including sildenafil (Viagra), taldalafil (Cialis), vardenafil (Levitra), and avanafil (Stendra). These drugs work as PDE-5 inhibitors, working to prevent blood from leaving the penis and lessening the erection. They are effective for most men, but less so for those with neurological causes of impotence.
It is important to understand that all 4 of these are prescription medications and can only be obtained after being prescribed by a licensed physician. It is also necessary for you to speak with your doctor extensively on the nature of your ED and specific symptoms and factors to ensure he or she is able to help you most effectively.
Another option as an erectile dysfunction treatment is to use injectable medications. Some men may not be comfortable inserting a needle into their penis, and proven effective medications containing the drug alprostadil like Caverject, Edex, and Muse will not be suitable for these individuals. For those who’ll be okay with it, alprostadil allows blood to flow freely to the penis and promotes erections more effectively.
Men suffering from erectile dysfunction symptoms should also note that the effectiveness of taking extra testosterone for treating ED is a myth. Synthetic testosterone supplementation will not lessen a man’s erectile dysfunction.
Lastly, a much less popular option is to have a surgically placed penile implant. This option is only recommended for men who have severe ED or traumatic groin injury to the point that they’re not able to develop an erection by any other means.
Identifying erectile dysfunction symptoms isn't much of a challenge for most men. Especially considering the nature of situations where they'll arise. What is important is to keep everything in perspective; you are not the first man to have these difficulties, and you won't be the last. It's quite common, natural, and not a reflection of your masculinity or manhood in any way. There will be an erectile dysfunction treatment that will work for you, and once you've found it you'll be resuming your healthy and charged sex life just as you'd like.