Erectile dysfunction is a condition that makes it difficult to get or keep an erection, and it affects thousands of men around the world. Although it is actually more common than you think, erectile dysfunction can seriously get in the way of having a healthy and happy sex life and it can leave you suffering from low self-esteem and other psychological issues. Erectile dysfunction can be caused by a number of different factors, including:
Conditions and Diseases
There are a number of health conditions that can increase your risk of suffering from erectile dysfunction. These include:
- Type 2 Diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Chronic kidney disease
- Heart and blood vessel disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Injury from treatments for prostate cancer
- Surgery for bladder cancer
Men with diabetes are up to three times more likely to develop symptoms of erectile dysfunction compared to men who do not have diabetes.
Certain medications can cause erectile dysfunction as a side effect. If you are taking any of the following medications, you may be at a higher risk of developing erectile dysfunction:
- Appetite suppressants
- Ulcer medicines
- Blood pressure medicines
- Sedatives or sleeping pills
Lifestyle and Health Factors
There are several lifestyle habits and health factors that can contribute to a higher risk of erectile dysfunction. These include:
- Drinking a lot of alcohol
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Being overweight
- Using illegal drugs
Emotional and Psychological Issues
Symptoms of erectile dysfunction can also be linked to your mental health. Some men may be more susceptible to suffering from erectile dysfunction if they are also dealing with:
- Fear of sexual failure
- Low self-esteem
- Guilt about sexual performance or certain sexual activities
How is Erectile Dysfunction Diagnosed?
A specialist medical professional such as a urologist will diagnose erectile dysfunction. To do this, they will use information from your medical and sexual history, along with a physical and mental health exam. If you suspect that you have erectile dysfunction and have decided to see a doctor about the problems you have experienced, remember that the more they know about you, the easier it will be for them to help treat your condition.
Medical and Sexual History:
In order to get a diagnosis of erectile dysfunction, you will need to provide your doctor with some details from your medical and sexual history. You may be asked a number of questions, including:
- How often you are able to maintain an erection long enough for intercourse
- How often you are able to maintain an erection during sexual intercourse
- How confident you are that you can get and keep an erection
- How often you are satisfied by sexual intercourse
- How low or high is your level of sexual desire
- How often you are able to reach an orgasm or ejaculate
- How often you get an erection when you wake up in the morning
- If you take any over-the-counter or prescription medications
- If you smoke, drink alcohol or use any illegal drugs
- If you have had any treatments or surgeries that could have damaged the blood vessels or nerves near the penis
Physical and Mental Health Exam:
Your healthcare professional will need to ask you some personal questions about your mental and emotional health in order to help diagnose any underlying issues that could be contributing to erectile dysfunction. In addition, you may also be asked to consent to a physical exam, which will consist of the following:
- Checking your penis to see if it is sensitive to touch. If sensitivity is lacking, the erectile dysfunction could be caused by a problem in the nervous system.
- Checking the appearance of your penis to see if the source of the problem is apparent. For example, some conditions like Peyronie’s disease will cause the penis to curve or bend when erect.
- Checking your body for any signs of hormonal issues such as breast enlargement or extra body hair.
- Checking your blood pressure
- Checking your pulse
What Treatments are Available?
There are many erectile dysfunction treatments available. Viagra is a common solution for many men with this issue; these are pills that you take in order to help you get and maintain an erection. Also known as sildenafil, you can usually buy it online at Manual’s medication site. This company provides a wide range of erectile dysfunction medications that you can try including Tadalafil or Cialis. The medicines work by increasing blood flow to and in the penis during sexual stimulation and relaxing smooth muscles. You may also find that the symptoms of erectile dysfunction are eased if you make some healthy changes to your lifestyle like exercising more and quitting smoking and drinking. If your erectile dysfunction is caused by an underlying mental health issue, going to counselling might help.
Erectile dysfunction is suffered by many men around the world and there are many reasons why it might happen. Thankfully, if you have been experiencing any of these symptoms, there is help available.