Erec­tile Dys­func­tion

Doctor's Plaza Health Magazine - - Contents -

Erec­tile dys­func­tion (im­po­tence) is the in­abil­ity to get and keep an erec­tion firm enough for sex.hav­ing erec­tion trou­ble from time to time isn’t nec­es­sar­ily a cause for con­cern. If erec­tile dys­func­tion is an on­go­ing is­sue, how­ever, it can cause stress, af­fect your self-con­fi­dence and con­trib­ute to re­la­tion­ship prob­lems. Prob­lems get­ting or keep­ing an erec­tion can also be a sign of an un­der­ly­ing health con­di­tion that needs treat­ment and a risk fac­tor for heart dis­ease.

Causes

Male sex­ual arousal is a com­plex process that in­volves the brain, hormones, emo­tions, nerves, mus­cles and blood ves­sels. Erec­tile dys­func­tion can re­sult from a prob­lem with any of these. Like­wise, stress and men­tal health con­cerns can cause or worsen erec­tile dys­func­tion. Some­times a com­bi­na­tion of phys­i­cal and psy­cho­log­i­cal is­sues causes erec­tile dys­func­tion. For in­stance, a mi­nor phys­i­cal con­di­tion that slows your sex­ual re­sponse might cause anx­i­ety about main­tain­ing an erec­tion. The re­sult­ing anx­i­ety can lead to or worsen erec­tile dys­func­tion.

Phys­i­cal causes of erec­tile dys­func­tion

In many cases, erec­tile dys­func­tion is caused by some­thing phys­i­cal. Com­mon causes in­clude:

• Heart dis­ease

• Clogged blood ves­sels (ath­er­o­scle­ro­sis)

• High choles­terol

• High blood pres­sure

• Diabetes

• Obe­sity

• Metabolic syn­drome — a con­di­tion in­volv­ing in­creased blood pres­sure, high in­sulin lev­els, body fat around the waist and high choles­terol

• Parkinson’s dis­ease

• Mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis

• Cer­tain pre­scrip­tion med­i­ca­tions

• To­bacco use

• Pey­ronie’s dis­ease — de­vel­op­ment of scar tis­sue in­side the pe­nis

• Al­co­holism and other forms of sub­stance abuse

• Sleep dis­or­ders

• Treat­ments for prostate cancer or en­larged prostate

• Surg­eries or in­juries that af­fect the pelvic area or spinal cord

“SEX IS THE MOST IM­POR­TANT SORT OF ADULT PLAY. IF YOU CAN’T RE­LAX HERE YOU NEVER WILL”

ALEX COM­FORT

Psy­cho­log­i­cal causes of erec­tile dys­func­tion

The brain plays a key role in trig­ger­ing the se­ries of phys­i­cal events that cause an erec­tion, start­ing with feel­ings of sex­ual ex­cite­ment. A num­ber of things can in­ter­fere with sex­ual feel­ings and cause or worsen erec­tile dys­func­tion. These in­clude:

• De­pres­sion, anx­i­ety or other men­tal health con­di­tions

• Stress

• Re­la­tion­ship prob­lems due to stress, poor com­mu­ni­ca­tion or other con­cerns

Risk fac­tors

As you get older, erec­tions might take longer to de­velop and might not be as firm. You might need more di­rect touch to your pe­nis to get and keep an erec­tion. Var­i­ous risk fac­tors can con­trib­ute to erec­tile dys­func­tion, in­clud­ing:

• Med­i­cal con­di­tions, par­tic­u­larly diabetes or heart con­di­tions

• To­bacco use, which re­stricts blood flow to veins and ar­ter­ies, can — over time — cause chronic health con­di­tions that lead to erec­tile dys­func­tion

• Be­ing over­weight, es­pe­cially if you’re obese

• Cer­tain med­i­cal treat­ments, such as prostate surgery or ra­di­a­tion treat­ment for cancer

• In­juries, par­tic­u­larly if they dam­age the nerves or ar­ter­ies that con­trol erec­tions

• Med­i­ca­tions, in­clud­ing an­tide­pres­sants, an­ti­his­tamines and med­i­ca­tions to treat high blood pres­sure, pain or prostate con­di­tions

• Psy­cho­log­i­cal con­di­tions, such as stress, anx­i­ety or de­pres­sion

• Drug and al­co­hol use, es­pe­cially if you’re a long-term drug user or heavy drinker.

Com­pli­ca­tions

Com­pli­ca­tions re­sult­ing from erec­tile dys­func­tion can in­clude:

• An un­sat­is­fac­tory sex life

• Stress or anx­i­ety

• Em­bar­rass­ment or low self-es­teem

• Re­la­tion­ship prob­lems

• The in­abil­ity to get your part­ner preg­nant

Symp­toms

Erec­tile dys­func­tion symp­toms might in­clude per­sis­tent:

• Trou­ble get­ting an erec­tion

• Trou­ble keep­ing an erec­tion

• Re­duced sex­ual de­sire

Talk to an ex­pert

Many men are re­luc­tant to dis­cuss erec­tile dys­func­tion with their doc­tors. But don’t let em­bar­rass­ment keep you from get­ting help. One small con­ver­sa­tion can make a big dif­fer­ence. Here’s what to do:

• Tell your doc­tor what’s go­ing on. Your doc­tor will con­sider un­der­ly­ing causes of your erec­tile dys­func­tion and can give you in­for­ma­tion about med­i­ca­tion and other erec­tile dys­func­tion treat­ments. Find out your op­tions.

• Ask what you need to do to con­trol diabetes. Care­ful blood su­gar con­trol can pre­vent nerve and blood ves­sel dam­age that can lead to erec­tile dys­func­tion. Ask your doc­tor if you’re tak­ing the right steps to man­age your diabetes.

• Ask about other health prob­lems. It’s com­mon for men with diabetes to have other chronic con­di­tions that can cause or worsen erec­tile dys­func­tion. Work with your doc­tor to make sure you’re ad­dress­ing any other health prob­lems.

• Check your med­i­ca­tions. Ask your doc­tor if you’re tak­ing any med­i­ca­tions that might be wors­en­ing your erec­tile prob­lems, such as drugs used to treat de­pres­sion or high blood pres­sure. Mak­ing a change to your med­i­ca­tions may help.

• Seek coun­sel­ing. Anx­i­ety and stress can worsen erec­tile dys­func­tion. A psy­chol­o­gist or other men­tal health provider can help you find ways to ease your stress level

If you’re con­cerned about erec­tile dys­func­tion, talk to your doc­tor — even if you’re em­bar­rassed. Some­times, treat­ing an un­der­ly­ing con­di­tion is enough to re­verse erec­tile dys­func­tion. In other cases, med­i­ca­tions or other di­rect treat­ments might be needed.

“TO FEEL AROUSED IS TO FEEL ALIVE. HAV­ING GREAT SEX IS LIKE TAK­ING IN HUGE LUNGFUL OF FRESH AIR, ES­SEN­TIAL TO YOUR BODY, ES­SEN­TIAL TO YOUR HEALTH AND ES­SEN­TIAL TO YOUR LIFE”

FIONA THRUST

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